The Trust was established to emulate the highest ideals of the medieval Order of Knights Templar, founded by Hugh de Payens and eight companions in Jerusalem in 1119. Their primary aim was to give aid and protection to pilgrims travelling to the holy places of Christendom, especially in the Holy Land.

The aim today is still to offer aid, not by force of arms as in those far-off days, but by practical Christian care.

The Trust achieves this by providing grants to those who would otherwise be deprived of the benefit that a visit to a Christian shrine can bring, whether they go in search of healing—physical or mental—or of spiritual regeneration.

To experience at first hand the spiritual dimension of a shrine, such as Lourdes or Walsingham, can make faith come alive in a way that can never be achieved in a school classroom. In the same way a pilgrimage, in the steps of St Paul or to the Holy Land, can bring the Bible to life in new ways.

The Trustees’ approach is based on an ecumenical definition of Christianity, and recognises that each pilgrim has a different perspective guiding the search for a greater understanding of God, personal spirituality and the world in which we live. 


In 1982, on the Feast of St Bernard of Clairvaux, the Templar Pilgrimage Trust (OTJ) was launched by the Order of the Temple of Jerusalem*, in furtherance of its work for charity. 

The Trust received approval from the Charity Commission for England and Wales in 1983. 

©Templar Pilgrimage Trust 2016