Mar 312015

Holy IslandAn East Lothian kirk is planning to create a pilgrim route from the Firth of Forth to Holy Island and is inviting faith and secular groups to work in partnership on the plan.

A group of enthusiasts involved in the annual Haddington – Whitekirk pilgrimage over the past five years came up with the idea to enable people – churchgoers or not – to discover a ‘spiritual dimension in their lives’ and at the same time, develop their physical and mental fitness.

On Friday May 8, they will meet in Athelstaneford Parish Church to hear guest speaker Nick Cooke, of the Scottish Pilgrim Routes Forum and discuss the plan for a marked, walking/cycling route which could follow existing coastal paths and the John Muir Way as much as possible, linking East Lothian with Lindisfarne.

Outlining the scheme, the Rev Joanne Evans-Boiten, minister at Athelstaneford linked with Whitekirk and Tyninghame church, says:-

The project would let anyone at any time, travel the whole, long distance Pilgrim route or tackle it in shorter sections. Churchgoers or not, people today are often looking for a spiritual dimension in their lives and this route would enable them to experience the beauty of the world around them and through this experience, enable spiritual growth. We’d introduce them to an area of south east Scotland and north east England which is historically very important having strong links to early Christianity.

Apart from individuals benefiting, she adds, the Pilgrimage would help local communities, tourism, businesses and landowners and “fits well with the Scottish Government’s ‘Let’s get Scotland Walking’ approach to improving health.