Fall Leaves

A WARM WELCOME

From our Chair, the Very Rev Dr Sheilagh M Kesting

It is my pleasure to welcome you to our website which is dedicated to the individual pilgrim routes that are supported by the members of the Scottish Pilgrim Routes Forum. Right now there is a lot of energy around the development of the routes and we hope this website will prove a key place to share the excitement of what is happening.

Sharing news and experience is a key function of the Forum as it supports and encourages the work of local Steering Groups. We have also created a space reserved for members of the Forum. Look out for regular news items about the development of the routes. 

The Forum is particularly pleased to highlight two of its initiatives that are aimed at supporting and encouraging the development of Scottish Pilgrim Ways:  The John Henderson Memorial Award and the Scottish Pilgrim Ways Accreditation Scheme.  The former has been set up in memory of our distinguished first treasurer and will be awarded to a person who has made an outstanding contribution to the development of a pilgrim route in Scotland either before or after its accreditation as a Scottish Pilgrim Way. 


Our Scottish Pilgrim Ways Accreditation Scheme encourages local volunteer Steering Groups to continue developing their routes to the highest standard at the same time as giving walkers an indication of what facilities they might expect to find along the way. The first award, a Silver one, was awarded to the Forth to Farne Way in September.  More applications are currently under consideration.  You can find out more about the John Henderson Memorial Award and the Accreditation Scheme by following the appropriate links.


I hope you enjoy browsing this new site.  Over time there will be more to explore and discover about the growing network of Pilgrim Routes across Scotland and the work of the Scottish Pilgrim Routes Forum to promote and support its development.  And for those who are able, I hope you enjoy walking the routes in the spirit of pilgrimage, making each journey one of reflection, a refreshing and healing journey of discovery into ourselves and into our connectedness with people and nature through time. 

 

MEET OUR TEAM

Our board is dedicated to continuing and expanding our charitable mission. We are a family of diverse professionals who focus our different skills and expertise on the singular goal of reviving pilgrimage for the modern era. Read more about our individual team members below.

800px-Official_portrait_of_Lord_Wilson_of_Tillyorn_crop_2.jpeg

LORD WILSON OF TILLYORN KT GCMG FRSE

SPRF Patron

Lord Wilson is a retired British administrator, diplomat and Sinologist. He was the penultimate Commander-in-Chief and 27th Governor of Hong Kong. He served as Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, the British Monarch's representative to the Assembly, in 2010 and 2011. He retired from the House of Lords on 12 February 2021 after sitting as a cross-bencher for over 28 years. Lord Wilson has taken a very personal interest in the development of the Northern Pilgrims Way between Tain and Thurso.

4CD09466-D3F1-4246-A11B-4617DF8E3C3D.jpeg

VERY REV DR SHEILAGH KESTING

Chair

Born in Stornoway, Isle of Lewis and attended school in Stornoway. Graduated BA and BD(Hons) from Edinburgh University.  Served as a parish minister in Overtown, Lanarkshire and  Musselburgh before becoming the Church of Scotland’s Ecumenical Officer until retirement in 2016.  Appointed Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland for 2007-8. Honoured as a Dame of the Order of St Gregory the Great by Pope Francis at the request of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland (2016).  Since retiring, I have immersed myself in a large garden, pulling weeds and planting.

Principal 3.png

PROF IAN BRADLEY

Trustee

Ian Bradley is Emeritus Professor of Cultural and Spiritual History at the University of St Andrews where for many years he taught church history and practical theology, served as Church of Scotland chaplain and was Principal of St Mary’s College.


A regular broadcaster and contributor to national newspapers and magazines, he is the author of more than forty books including Pilgrimage: A Spiritual and Cultural Journey (Lion, 2009), which has been translated into Norwegian, Japanese and Arabic; Argyll: The Making of a Spiritual Landscape (St Andrew Press, 2015); and The Fife Pilgrim Way (Birlinn, 2019). His many books on Celtic Christianity include Following the Celtic Way (Darton, Longman & Todd, 2017) and Columba: Politician, Penitent and Pilgrim (Wild Goose Publications, 2021).


He has spoken and preached at pilgrim gatherings in Germany and Norway as well as throughout the British Isles and led pilgrimages across Scotland.

Wendy.jpg

WENDY LLOYD

Trustee

Wendy is from Northern Ireland, she has lived in Scotland for over ten years and now lives on the Isle of Mull. She moved to Scotland after a very transformative visit to the isle of Iona and is now delighted to host and help pilgrims journey across Mull to or from Iona.


Wendy has been interested in the relationship between pilgrimage and walking since taking to mountains and trails across Scotland, Spain and Nepal. She works for Christian Aid and the Guild of Health and St. Raphael in communications roles.

NC - Iona visit Sept 2019  (2).jpg

NICK COOKE FRSA

Secretary

Following a career in business and as CEO of a national conservation charity, Nick runs his own consultancy business based in central Scotland with a portfolio covering wildlife surveys, countryside access, organic food certification and waste recycling, as well as capacity-building work with small NGOs. He has extensive knowledge of the voluntary sector, having served in a personal capacity on several charity Boards as a trustee and office bearer at the local and national levels.  

His interest in the revival of pilgrim walking routes stems from his active involvement in the Scottish Episcopal Church. He was inspired by his completion of two long-distance walks from the Trossachs to Iona and Whithorn to raise funds for his local church.  


Nick played a lead role in establishing the Scottish Pilgrim Routes Forum in 2012 with the initial support of Action of Churches Together in Scotland (ACTS) and he believes strongly in the role of local communities and churches as key stakeholders in the work of the Forum. He is particularly interested in developing projects that expand the network of pilgrim routes across Scotland and develop international connections. 

Fiona Picture.png

FIONA MITCHELL

Trustee

Fiona is a semi-retired Scottish solicitor, at present based in Aberdeen, but planning a move to Morayshire. She is very interested in long-distance walking and in pilgrimage walking in particular, having over the past twenty years, walked to Santiago de Compostella in Spain by three different routes and to Rome from Aberdeen.  All her pilgrimage walking to date has, of necessity, been done in instalments of two to three weeks due to work commitment. However, now Fiona is looking forward to being fully retired and able to take more time off to walk.


Fiona is an Oblate (a lay associate) of Pluscarden Abbey near Elgin and is interested in and inspired by Benedictine spirituality.  She sees part of her role as a Trustee to be a link between the Forum and the Roman Catholic Bishops Conference of Scotland whose Chairman, Bishop Hugh Gilbert, OSB, nominated her as a potential Trustee.  As someone who is committed to strengthening ecumenical relations in Scotland, Fiona is enjoying learning from the perspectives of the various denominations represented on the Forum.

38510BDA-24D0-42C3-8604-2EC4BA0C0EF7_1_201_a_edited.jpg

REV ALEX CURRIE

Trustee

Rev Alex Currie has served as the Parish Minister of Whithorn for the last 31 years. He is well aware of the significant place his parish holds in the Christian story of Scotland. St Ninian, Scotland’s first Christian Saint, founded his church in Whithorn.


A keen walker and cyclist, Alex and his wife Kirsty have walked the St Cuthbert’s and St Oswald’s Way together. He has also cycled a route closely following the Whithorn Way in a day - but her won’t be doing that twice!

IMG_1292.jpg

TRACY CHRISTIE

Treasurer

Tracy joined SPRF in February 2021. She brings commercial experience as managing director of a tour operator specialising in the Camino de Santiago and other pilgrim routes in Europe and Japan for over 15 years. She has close ties to the Camino having lived in southern Spain for several years, raising two children, exploring Spain's trails and nature park, as well as developing the family's Andalucian olive and lavender farm. Her earlier media career was as a broadcast TV director for the BBC & Granada Television.

martin fair.jpeg

MARTIN FAIR

Trustee

Though a former Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Martin is first and foremost a parish minister. Raised in Glasgow, married to Elaine, he is a dad to three grown-up boys and has spent the whole of his ministry in Arbroath.

With thirty years of experience, Martin has combined local ministry with a passion for the outdoors - the Angus Glens in particular and generally, through walking, climbing and back-packing, most of Scotland. He is keen to see a strengthening of the link between an appreciation of wild places and earthy spirituality.

Headshot.jpg

ADAM CUMMING

Trustee

Professionally a research chemist Adam worked for the UK government in defence, specifically on energetic systems. He remains active in consultancy, especially on environmental issues.


He is an elder in Cramond Kirk; a former elder in the URC, where he was Synod Area Leader for West Kent and East Sussex; a volunteer with both the Edinburgh World Heritage Trust and the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland where is an active Fellow


Since 2018 he has been President of the Cramond Association, a local community organisation, and has organised their lecture programme since 2016. He is also a Trustee of Scotland’s Church Trust as well as managing the Church Recording Project for the Trust, aimed at recording fixtures and fittings in Scottish Churches.

He is married with two children, and is an expert in mediaeval church architecture, and has interests in mediaeval history, particularly of Scotland and its cultural connections across Europe. 

Sylvia Jenks.JPG

SYLVIA JENKS

Trustee

As well as being one of the founding members of SPRF, Sylvia is the key member of the Whithorn Way steering group which stretches between Glasgow, Paisley and Whithorn.