'Communing with Nature' - Environmental Perspective on Pilgrimage
Report on the Gathering 2014
This page will be populated with more information as reports become available.

In the meantime below are some images from the Gathering.

Keynote Speakers - Morning session
Paul Wheelhouse MSP Prof. Sam Berry
Chris Baines Prof. Richard Oram
Workshop Leaders and Speakers at Plenary Session
Bruce Manson - Markinch Heritage Trust Robert Balfour - Chairman, Fife Coast
& Countryside Trust
Ninian Stuart - Chairman, Falkland
Centre for Stewardship
Simon Hill - FCCT
Rev Prof. David Atkinson
SPRF Chairman
Rev Dr Ian Bradley

The Day's Programme

09.30 Registration. Coffee / tea in the Main Hall

10.00 Welcome and Introduction – Rev Prof David Atkinson, Chairman SPRF

10.10 Opening Address - Paul Wheelhouse, Scottish Government Minister for Environment and Climate Change

10.30 Professor Sam Berry – ‘In The Beginning God – So What?’

11.10 Tea/ coffee break

11.30 Chris Baines – ‘Pilgrimage and Environmental Sustainability – A Natural Partnership?’

12.10 Professor Richard Oram – ‘ “Scottish Pilgrimage in the Land of Lost Content” Revisited’

12.45 Buffet lunch in The Vine cafeteria

13.45 Workshops Session 1 – Key Stakeholders in Pilgrim Walking Routes

14.30 Workshops Session 2 - Key Stakeholders in Pilgrim Walking Routes
Delegates can pre-book one of four options in each session. Workshop venues will be confirmed on the day. See details below.

15.15 Plenary session (to cover keynote presentations and workshops) – Rev Dr Ian Bradley

16.00 Close – Rev Prof David Atkinson. Tea & Coffee in Main Hall

16.30 AGM for SPRF Members in Room 1.

Workshop A - Local Churches: David Pickering (St Andrews Congregational Church, Roundhay, Leeds) will be joined by Margaret and Richard Pedersen (St Aidan's Church, Morebattle and St Cuthbert's Coffee Shop) to discuss different ways for local churches to promote pilgrimage as a community activity, drawing on David's experience of taking pilgrim tours to church communities on the Hebridean islands and Margaret and Richard's work in catering for pilgrim walkers on the St Cuthbert's Way in the Borders.

Workshop B - Local Landowners: Robert Balfour (chairman, Fife Coast & Countryside Trust) and Anne Gray (Policy Officer - Environment, Scottish Land & Estates) will be discussing ways of addressing the concerns of famers and landowners involved in the process of creating designated off-road pilgrimage walking routes, and the resulting countryside access issues which this generates, with particular reference to the planned Fife Pilgrim Way.

Workshop C - Local Businesses: Ninian Stuart (chairman, Falkland Centre for Stewardship) and Ann Camus (Fife Council - Fife Tourism Partnership) will be discussing the range of different roles that local businesses and social enterprises can play in the operation of pilgrim walking routes, drawing on the experience of the Falkland Estate in practicing sustainable land management and also the wider involvement of faith tourism businesses across Fife.

Workshop D - Local Communities: Rev Prof David Atkinson (chairman, Scottish Pilgrim Routes Forum) assisted by Richard Murray will be discussing their recent activities on behalf of SPRF in promoting the use of the Deeside Way as a pilgrimage route, including the 'On the Way' event held last month at Kincardine, reminding us that the Forum's work applies equally to local communities across all of Scotland and not just in the southern half of the country.

Feedback and Summary Report:

Feedback is very important for the future of the Scottish Pilgrimage Gathering as an annual event catering for the growing number of people and organisations with an interest in the development of faith tourism and modern day pilgrimage. If delegates have not yet completed the feedback form we would encourage them still to do so and to forward them to the SPRF Secretary.

** Briefing notes can be downloaded by clicking here **

To access the SPRF website and learn more about its activities click on this link.



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