Pilgrimage

Being a pilgrim is a central part of Christian spirituality.

It is something that translates to all of us. It simply means ‘journeyer’.

To be a pilgrim means being willing to walk the path God accompanies you on, to wherever you wish to go.



Pilgrimages take many forms. For some, being a pilgrim means taking a physical journey; travelling in a group or alone. Or enjoying a place of solitude, somewhere locally, that holds special significance for you; place where God has met with you before. It could be a retreat or a trip with others. 

 

But for others, it is simply the first step on a road that begins within. You are a pilgrim now, by being here, reading this, and experiencing all you wish to experience.

At the heart of pilgrimage is the intention to search for your life alongside and to God. Allowing God to guide you on the path of life is the first step to being a pilgrim: simply acknowledging you are a spiritual being and saying ‘yes’ to God in your life makes you a pilgrim.

This may mean adopting ways of life you never thought possible: it could mean finding prayer; realising your potential as a human being and discovering all those things God meant you to be. Essentially it means journeying towards finding your soul and its relationship of love in God’s hands.

For some this requires actually going to those places which have been significant to the people of God…

But, for you, a pilgrimage may simply be those places of love and affection which have drawn you closer to God before: a particular path in the Lake District or Scotland. Or just somewhere near your home.

Even if you find there is no ‘place’ that holds a pilgrimage for you, the very desire to journey towards God makes you a pilgrim. Embrace that journey…

 

Where

Jerusalem 

Jerusalem has a unique place in the hearts of the children of God. The faiths that share the religion of the God of Abraham have journeyed here for thousands of years. For Christians it holds special significance as the birthplace of the Church; when Jesus was crucified but found alive again following his resurrection.

Iona

Iona shares a unique heritage with Ireland as a centre of Celtic Christianity. The introduction of Christianity to Scotland and Northern England was done through St. Columba and the monastery he built on Iona. As a place of natural beauty and Christian presence, it continues to receive thousands of visitors every year.

Walsingham 

Held with affection by Christians for its sightings of the Virgin Mary, the tranquillity of the eastern English countryside welcomes hundreds of pilgrims who come to celebrate this peaceful oasis of Christian heritage.

Santiago de Compostela

Legend has it that St. James, an apostle of Jesus, found his way to the Spanish coast and preached there before finding his final resting place. Although many routes are considered acceptable for pilgrimage to Santiago, the most popular is the French Way: an 800km journey from the Pyrenees to Sanitago.

Cathedrals

Cathedrals have long held places of pilgrimage for Christians. These can be abroad in places like Notre Dames, or St. Peter’s in Rome. But England has a long history of cathedrals for pilgrimage: Canterbury, Durham, Westminster abbey and York Minster are just some of the places renowned for their places of worship , prayer and spiritual space.

Who

Lightline Pilgrimages www.ukltg.com

Spirit Walk www.spiritwalk.net