Pilgrimage Events

Across the Methodist Connexion many individuals, groups and congregations undertake pilgrimage.  Some information is included below.  If you would like to share your own events and plans here, please email pilgrimage@methodistchurch.org.uk

Methodist Women in Britain (MWiB) has offered pilgrimage over the past few years in a number of ways, all open to any women with an interest in Christian spirituality. Former MWiB President Jill Baker co-ordinates this area of activity.

MWiB pilgrimages to date have been

  • Walking pilgrimages between Durham and Lindisfarne
  • Pilgrimage to Israel/Palestine
  • Pilgrimage to Rome 

Latest: Walking pilgrimage in Scotland - postponed until 2022

  • In August 2018 Jill Baker and Gillian Womersley were part of a pilot Scottish Pilgrim route between Glasgow and Whithorn involving around 50 miles walking plus public transport.
  • The route engaged with Methodism in Scotland now, as well as exploring something of the religious history of the land, especially the lives of St. Mungo and St. Ninian.
  • Jill and Gillian were planning to lead a walk on this route in May 2020 but this had to be postponed twice due to the Coronovirus.  It is hoped to reorganise it for 2022. The 2020 itinerary can be found Here and will be updated in due course along with new information about how to apply for a place.
  • A report of the pilot pilgrimage (Walking backwards through Scotland's history) can be found here.

  

Walsingham

  • In 1061 the Lady of the Manor had a vision of Mary along with instructions to build the Nazareth house in Walsingham.  A spring appeared and a shrine grew up, often known as "England's Nazareth".  
  • Walsingham has an Anglican shrine (with a large residential centre and facilities) and a Roman Catholic shrine based at the "Slipper Chapel" a mile away and receives many Anglican and Roman Catholic pilgrims. 
  • Walsingham Methodist chapel  https://walsinghammethodist.com/  is open regularly during the tourist season as part of the local tradition of offering hospitality/encounter.  The small Methodist congregation there is exploring what else Methodism can offer.   
  • Rev. Adam Stevenson and other Methodists have been involved in pilgrimage to Walsingham through the Ecumenical Marian Pilgrimage Trust www.ecumenicalmarianpilgrimage.org.uk/
  • Potential exists for exploring vocation (Mary as a woman who said "yes"); being a woman in the Christian church; Family life... 

 

Tolpuddle

  • Pilgrimage to Tolpuddle could highlight the social justice issues relating to the story of the Tolpuddle Martyrs, linking that with current employment justice issues.
  • The original Methodist chapel where the Tolpuddle Martyrs worshipped has been bought by a trust to be renovated and restored, which could generate interest.
  • There is a small handful of Methodists there.
  • An annual event takes place in Tolpuddle, organised by the TUC, in which the Methodist district (Southampton) plays a part and has a presence. 

 Methodist Heritage sites (or any Methodist buildings/sites in your locality) could give rise to pilgrimage, perhaps in conjunction with Methodist Heritage.  There is interest around in developing long-distance pilgrimage routes to the key sites, not least amongst partner churches overseas.  

Other activities/anecdotes which have, or could have, an element of pilgrimage

  • Good Friday/Palm Sunday (& other) walks of witness - especially praying in significant places (link to "healing on the streets"?)
  • "Green walks" with environmental focus.
  • Days out... e.g. (as practised in Darlington district) - a coach trip with young people to climb a mountain, have communion at summit, descend then go out for meal together - a day pilgrimage!   
  • Local Methodist Church Walking Club - Observation that one church which has held monthly walks on a Saturday for decades now has a much larger percentage of men in the congregation than the national average.
  • Prayer walks around a church building - using prayer stations/prayer journeys.  This can offer a form of pilgrimage to those who would be unable to engage in a walk/journey of any length.  Use of labyrinth can offer similar opportunities - even finger labyrinth done in chair for those without mobility (see more under Resources).
  • Walking the Keills in the Isle of Man - or similar parish walks/beating the bounds. 
  • Walking within a local circuit - Walks between churches meeting for prayer, worship (& usually refreshment) in different churches and walking between the buildings, inviting the members (& others) to come along and tell the story of the area.  Experience in Glasgow where this has given rise to meaningful and moving conversations. 
  • Bus route pilgrimage - use bus passes/day tickets to travel an entire bus route, stopping off at any churches on the route (for refreshments); praying for the city/town/community as you go. 

 

 

 


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