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John Henderson, who died in 2021, was a champion of long-distance walking routes across Scotland and, through his business Walking Support and strong personal involvement in the Church of Scotland, he became actively involved in the Scottish Pilgrim Routes Forum from its establishment, joining the Board of Trustees as Treasurer and webmaster. His wide knowledge and experience led him to give invaluable support to the early development of the Iona - St Andrews Pilgrim Way, Three Saints Way, Whithorn Way, Forth to Farne Way and Kentigern Way routes. John's contribution to our annual spring and autumn meetings and his work with local Steering Groups was highly valued.

John took a practical approach to the various stages of identifying, physically scoping and promoting these routes.  He believed strongly in encouraging local people in the form of volunteer Steering Groups to play a leading role in the task of ‘getting boots on the ground’ and this is the legacy that he wanted to pass on to others.

The annual John Henderson Award, administered by SPRF and comprising a commemorative trophy and a monetary prize of £200, recognises an outstanding personal and predominantly voluntary contribution by an individual to the establishment or development of a pilgrim route in Scotland. It is presented at our AGM to the winner as part of our Pilgrimage Gathering held every autumn. Nominations can be submitted at any time via the SPRF Secretary.

The 2022 Award winner was Bill Jack for his pioneering work, along with his wife Christine, in establishing the St Kentigern Way from Annan to Glasgow which they walked in its entirety as part of its launch. The 2023 winner was Rev David McLeish in recognition of his leadership in creating the St Magnus Way on Orkney and inspiring his successors in the Orkney Pilgrimage SCIO in developing it as an outstanding walking route.

The Award Fund is open to donations at any time; please visit our donations page if you would like to contribute.

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