On Thursday 14 September, a group of Pilgrims visited Luing for the first time and Kilchattan Church. They were led by Jonathan Sheldrick and they all came from Port Ban, Near Tarbert in Argyll. They were travelling across Argyll on the Pilgrim route and had visited Craignish and Kilmelford. They reached Luing by boat from Croabh Haven to Toberonochy. They walked to Kilchattan Church and signed the visitors book, and then continued to the Atlantic Islands Centre where Jean & John Alexander met up with them for coffee. The picture below was taken of them at the Centre. They then travelled over the hill down to the ferry to cross over to Seil Island and a visit to Kilbrandon Church where they met up with Robert Rae. They have promised to return to us again sometime. Below is the official press release with more information on their journey:
Press Release: Columba Way (Slí Cholmcille/Moluag) – Tarbert to Lismore (An Tairbeart – Liosmor) Total 100 miles Saturday Sept 9 – Saturday Sept16
On Saturday 16 September a group of walkers known as Ron’s Ramblers from Port Ban completed a 100 mile long sponsored walk in aid of Mary’s Meals linking Tarbert, Loch Fyne, with Oban and Lismore. Lismore was chosen as the end destination in preference to Iona for time reasons and as it was the base for the Bishops of Argyll, and St Moluag, the patron saint of Argyll who had arguably a larger role than Columba in the conversion of the Picts to Christianity.
The pilgrimage route included several churches, 3 islands and ferry/boat crossings, 3 heritage centres (Kilmartin, Luing & Lismore), 4 castles (Tarbert, Castle Sween, Carnasserie & Dunstaffnage), small detours to the Beaver Trail, the Heart of Argyll Wildlife Centre and Dunadd, and the Cathedral of trees at Glencruitten House! Highlights were holy communion at St Columba’s Cave and St Mouluag’s Cathedral with Rev. David Carruthers and Rev. Ian Barclay respectively and being guided around Lismore by Dr Robert Hay (author of “Lismore, the Great Garden”).
The walk was made almost completely through areas of breathtaking beauty and historical significance (the so called “thin places” where heaven and earth meet) on existing tracks and quiet B roads. And the route has a choice of alternative routes depending on personal sightseeing preferences, restrictions of time, weather and other circumstances. With the exception of the final destination, it is also possible to walk only on the mainland. Accommodation is no problem as there is excellent bunkhouse as well as B&B & hotel accommodation along the way. The walk demonstrates that a long distance pilgrimage route linking the Kintyre Way with Oban is feasible. The next step is to set up an organisation supported by Heart of Argyll Tourism Alliance (HoATA) and the Scottish Pilgrim Routes Forum (SPRF), and to seek funding to further develop the route. A website and route maps are being prepared. Anyone wishing to help or sponsor the route should contact Jonathan Sheldrick at 01 880 770 224 email: email@example.com
It is still possible to donate to Mary’s Meals https://www.marysmeals.org.uk/fundraising/project/david-austin/rons-ramblers-on-the-columba-route
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