Fresh Pilgrim Paths

Now it was my turn. I took three days holiday in the Scottish Highlands to pray at St. Fillan's Healing Pool near Tyndrum and lay my hands on the saint's healing stones at the Millhouse, Killin and linger by the five thousand year old yew tree at Fortingall. The Northern Irish saint Fillan was active in Scotland a generation after Aidan's Irish mission brothers left Lindisfarne. This is another piece of evidence that Celtic influence continued after the Synod Of Whitby ,which imposed Roman regulations in Northumbria.

Upon my return to Holy Island a Danish couple told me they had walked what they called ‘St. Aidan’s Way’. This started in Fillan's region by the shores of Loch Lomond, through Strath Fillan to Helensbrough. They then followed the John Muir nature walk. This stretches from Helensbrough to Linton, south of Haddington. . These walkers continued more or less along the coast from there to Holy Island.

Voyager Jan Lokkeborg led fourteen Norwegians along St. Cuthbert's Way, They did not just walk St. Cuthbert’s Way, they made friends with locals en route. They were given bed and breakfast at the Yetholm manse and became part of the church family there and at Morebattle, where church members provide a café at certain. times. They also befriended people at Old Melrose, the original site of St. Cuthbert’s monastery, which is now welcoming pilgrims.

After meeting these groups I met a writer at an authors dinner in Edinburgh. He recalled that many years ago on a visit to Holy Island he had met David Adam who said to him ‘Some pilgrims are tourists and some tourists are pilgrims’.

Posted at 03:18am on 21st August 2015
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