The establishment of an Argyll Steering Group was first discussed at Craig Lodge Dalmally in the Autumn 2016 while running along side these discussions has been the work of "Faith in the Cowal", the "Slìghe Chaluim Chille/Columba Way" project and the Presbytery of Argyll "Faith Tourism, Heritage and Pilgrimage in Argyll" HLF funding application. With all having a clear focus on the rich chritian heritage of Argyll and the potential from increased faith tourism in Argyll the SPRF initiative is based on walking pilgrimage in this part of Scotland.
At the meeting it was agreed that Jonathan Sheldrick would chair this steering group and that within the work of the group there would be a focus on the following unique pilgrimage opportunites.
Participants at the inaugural meeting. Left to right back row - Donald Hardie, Dr Chris Brett, Nick Cooke, & John Henderson
As a charitable organisation having gaining all of its unrestricted income to date through membership levies we are now opening this up to receiving Donations from anyone interested in furthering our aims and objectives. Any money received by this means will be initially credited to the SPRF PayPal account and then transferred as required into our unrestricted funds to be used to further and develop the work of SPRF.
We are able to announce that following details so that they can be put into members diaries. More details for each of the events will follow along with any other dates that may still be arranged.
SPRF for the first time on the 22nd May 2016 took a stand at the Heart and Soul event in Edinburgh. This is part of the
Church of Scotland's General Assembly week and consists of many exhibitors and services and events in the bandstand.
As of the 5th November 2014 SPRF has moved from being an unincorporated organisation to that of a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO). This has been the culmination of several months work preparing a revised constitution and presenting an application to the Scottish Charities Regulator (OSCR).This was all in line with the decision of the SPRF AGM of 2013 and the EGM of spring 2014 when members authorised the management committee to pursue this new structure.
The Constitution retains all the key features of the original constitution but strengthens SPRF's position when dealing with other organisations and grant giving bodies. It also provides the Trustees and Members with greater protection on all contractural matters as well as issues of membership.
A full copy of the Constitution can be read or downloaded by clicking on this link.
As a result of this revised status the members of the Management Committee are now Trustees of the organisation while membership and associate member status remain unaltered.
On the 9th May 2014 the new Glentarken Bridge close to Lochearnhead was formally opened by Cameron McNeish.
This has been a vital link in developing an off road walking and cycling route along the north side of Loch Earn. A key person in the planning and delivery of this key element has been Geoff Hardman-Carter, one of SPRF's members.
This is going to be a key part of the planned Iona to St Andrews Pilgrim route and a part of the Three Saints Way which is being developed in parallel with the strong leadership of Roseanna Cunningham MSP. The Three Saints Way is the section of the larger coast to coast route and will run from Killin to Abernethy.
Shown in the centre picture from left to right is Cameron McNeish, Roseanna Cunningham and Geoff Hardman-Carter.
Pilgrims and support team at start of St Cuthbert's Way
Some of the Pilgrims at the "Saddle" on the Eildon Hills
Inspired by the success of the Paisley 850 pilgrimage, a further pilgrimage event, this time on St Cuthbert's Way, has been
organised and at the time of posting this news, they are still walking the route towards Lindisfarne.
This occasion the setting up of the Pilgrimage has been masterminded and lead by Gerry Murdoch, a member of the St Mirin's Cathedral congregation. The pilgrims come from several churches and differing denominations in the greater Paisley area and as with the Paisley 850 walk to Whithorn they are assisted by a small group with vehicle support.
In somewhat overcast conditions the group set off from Melrose on Saturday morning but after crossing the high point on the Eildons the weather started to break up. One of the greatest challenges on this initial stage was the ground conditions, mud might best describe it.
Within the group were several active members of SPRF and although one such member only took part in the initial stages it was clear that the group were in good heart and looking forward to the seven day pilgrimage.
YWAM stands for Youth With A Mission and is a worldwide Christian network. It was founded by Loren Cunningham in 1960 and now has a presence in over 1,100 locations in 180 countries with a staff of over 18,000. For much more detail on the work and ministery of YWAM visit www.ywam.org
One of the groups who are located in northern Norway has been in contact with SPRF over a number of months and in February 14 two of the group leaders, with their son, visited Scotland and caught up with John Henderson (one of SPRF's members).
As part of the 850 anniversary of the founding of Paisley Abbey a pilgrimage walk was set up and undertaken in sections between
Paisley Abbey and Whithorn Priory. This took place over 2012/13 and attracted many pilgrim walkers.
At the end of the journey south a smaller group then walked north in a continuous pilgrimage, and coming from these endeavours work is now beginning to look at both making this a recognised Pilgrim Way and to extend its northern end to Glasgow.
Argyll Stone & St Conval's Chariot
St Conval's sculpture
Govan Old Parish Church
End of section - Glasgow Cathedral
The following persons were appointed to the Management Committee at the 2013 AGM held on the 27th September 13.
The "Scottish Pilgrimage Gathering 2013" was held on Friday 27th September at the Vine Venue in Dunfermline.
Keynote speechs were given by Riddell Graham (Director - Visit Scotland), Peter Yeoman (Historic Scotland)and Rev Dr Ian Bradley (St Andrews University) There was also a lively panel question and answer session chaired by Billy Kay and including the addition of Rev Dr Richard Frazer.
Following lunch there was a series of workshop sessions and throughout the day there was a number of exhibits and trade fair stalls.
The event was a collaboration between Forth Pilgrim and SPRF with the support and backing of Fife Council.
Below are a few images from the main hall of the Vine.
Rev Dr Ian Bradley
General view of the Vine Auditorium
Billy Kay chairing the panel discussion
SPRF steering commmitte has been encouraged and has submitted a response to the current National Planning Framework 3 consultation process.
This is in part with regard to the future development of paths and cycle ways within Scotland and SPRF has been keen to register our thoughts and
plans for pilgrimage walking route.
Members of SPRF are encouraged to access the membership section where a copy of the submission is available to read and download.
The second Forum Meeting will take place at Paisley Abbey on 11th April 2013 (10.00 for coffee, start of agenda 10.30), by kind invitation of the Rev Alan Birss
and his team. Details of the final programme are posted in the "Events Section"
of the website.
The intention is to broadly follow the successful format of the first Meeting held at Luss last October. We do hope you or your organisation will be able to attend.
This is a historic and prestigious venue. The home page of the Abbey's official website at www.paisleyabbey.org.uk/contact-us shows the cloisters entrance to the Abbey which leads through to the Palace (or Place of Paisley) building on the south side which incorporates spacious rooms on the first floor that we will be using for the meeting. For a background note and OS location map of the Abbey, see also www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/paisley/abbey/index.html.
There are good rail and bus links to Paisley for those using public transport.
This Forum meeting will give us an important opportunity to learn more about the historic role of the Abbey in the
development of medieval pilgrimage in Scotland, now being actively revived through the current programme of
commemorative 'Paisley 850' one day pilgrimage walks linking the Abbey to Whithorn and developed by Sylvia Jenks,
who will be joining us for the day. It also provides the ideal context for hearing of current progress with the
establishment of designated pilgrim walking routes in south west Scotland, e.g. Ayrshire, Argyll, and the isle of
Arran, as well as updates on significant pilgrim route projects elsewhere.
As always, a key aim of the day is to facilitate networking and information sharing - we are a Forum after all! Your Committee will be providing news of current developments and plans, including the first 'Scottish Pilgrimage' gathering to be held in Dunfermline, Fife on 27th September which will incorporate our AGM for 2013. Please make a note of this date in the diary.
This notice is being mailed to the current paid up SPRF membership, following the introduction of the agreed structure adopted at Luss. A full list of members now appears on the SPRF website together with web links for all Full members, and currently comprises 17 organisations and individuals. Please note that a Full member organisation can send up to three delegates to any Forum meeting without paying any attendance fee. However, at Paisley we will be charging everyone £7 per head for teas, coffees and a soup and sandwich lunch.
SPRF warmly encourages all who have participated in previous discussions to join us at Paisley. Please let us know of other contacts who you think might be interested in coming as potential members. Although an inclusive £27 fee per person will apply in such cases, which covers the event and catering cost, the first £20 of this can be offset against the first year's membership fee if organisations or individuals join the Forum on the day.
To help us finalise the programme for the day, I would be most grafetul if you could use the attached form to (a) confirm your attendance and (b) state your preference for one plenary discussion topic to be included, and /or let us know what other issues you would like to see raised at the meeting.
A very interesting and successful meeting and first AGM was held at the Pilgrimage Centre in Luss on the 18th October 2012.
The next full meeting of all interested members will be held on Thursday 18th October in Luss (banks of Loch Lomond). This will be at the Pilgrimage Centre which is part of Luss Parish Church.
This will be the first AGM of the new Forum and it will be very helpful to have as many interested persons and organisations present on this day.
More information can be seen on the Events page but please do place this date in your diary now.
The agenda for the AGM and the prograamme for the full day's event are downloadable by clicking:-
Rev Prof David Atkinson.
The Management Committee were delighted when David agreed to take on the role of Chairperson. David has a wealth of experience that will help to direct and lead SPRF in its early stages of development. He comes to the Forum as a past Vice Principal of the Scottish Agricultural College, the present Convenor of the Scottish Churches Rural Group, and an advisor to many bodies on matters relating to crop production and genetic modification. To add to this he is also a Scottish Episcopal Minister to a congregation in Aberdeenshire. David has been active over many years in the Pilgrimage development debates and meetings.
Interim management committee
The Management Committee will initially consist of the previous Steering Group Members up until the next full meeting of all SPRF members, the date for this is now confirmed as being the 18th October 2012.
The posts that were agreed are:-
Adoption of the Constitution
We can report on the meeting of the Steering Group held on the 25th May 2012. At this meeting and as we had receiving no adverse comments from the Culross particpants to the draft constitution, the Steering Group proceed to adopt the constitution and to appoint certain officebearers and members of the management committee.
A copy of the constitution can be downloaded by clicking on this link.
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