Bedford's most famous story The Pilgrim's Progress is coming to cinemas

It is one of the most famous stories in our country's history. Often cited as the first novel written in English, it has been translated into more than 200 languages, served as an inspiration for one of the 20th century's most famous hostages, and was written here in Bedford.

Tuesday, 3rd December 2019, 5:55 pm
A still from the film

Oh, and 341 years after it was first penned, it is finally coming to the big screen.

We are talking about The Pilgrim's Progress, a 1678 Christian allegory written by John Bunyan. It tells the tale of a pilgrim called 'Christian', and his journey from the City of Destruction to the Celestial City, while his ultimate enemy tries everything in his power to distract Christian from his destination.

The film uses CGI animation, while the cast includes John Rhys-Davies who has starred in films such as Aquaman, both the Indiana Jones and Lord Of The Rings franchises, and Scooby-Doo! Adventures: The Mystery Map.

It was made possible thanks to a Kickstarter campaign during the film’s early stages, which helped raise over $60,000 to help with the completion of the project and its translations.

Unfortunately the film has not yet found a venue for general release in Bedford, although a launch screening is taking place this afternoon at Cineworld in Aspects Leisure Centre.

Pilgrim's Progress has retained its close links with Bedford, ever since it was written by John Bunyan, initially while he was in in the county prison for non-conformist practices.

Numerous locations and venues have had Bunyan's name, or that of the Pilgrim's Progress, attached to them, from pubs and schools to churches and streets.

And famously Terry Waite received a a postcard arrived depicting Bunyan when he was being held as a hostage in Lebanon. Brickhill lady Joy Brodier sent a card showing a stained glass window in Bedford’s Bunyan Meeting Church, which has John Bunyan in prison and commemorates the tercentenary of the publication of The Pilgrim’s Progress.