For most of the history of the church pilgrimage there has been an approach to getting closer to God. Traditionally it has involved walking a route known to be associated with a saint or other spiritual leader and with the intention of visiting a site associated with one of the saints or of a significant spiritual event. Today’s pilgrimage may resemble the traditional form but increasingly is being done either as an exercise in spiritual reflection or with a primary focus on the beauty of Gods creation.
Scotland is rich in both pilgrim routes and in places with major faith links. While many will view pilgrimage as an event covering a number of days, it is also possible to use shorter journeys, which can be completed in a single day as a form of pilgrimage or spiritual journeying.
Recently there has been a resurgence of interest in pilgrimage. The Scottish Pilgrim Routes Forum (SPRF) was established in 2012 to promote the development of pilgrimage and to help in the creation of more walking and cycling pilgrim routes. The Scottish Episcopal Church and some of its individual churches are members of the SPRF.
There are a number of pilgrimage routes around Scotland with details available on the SPRF website. Pilgrimage routes, with all or part of the route within our Diocese, include:
- Deeside Way from Aberdeen to Ballater
- St Duthac’s Way: Tain to Aberdeen
- St Magnus’ Way in Orkney