Pilgrimage is a meaningful journey to a sacred place. It provides the opportunity to step out of the non-stop busyness of our lives, to seek a time of quiet and reflection. It gives us the chance to ‘walk through’ those issues that we have on our minds, whatever they might be. It is a time of simply ‘being’ rather than always ‘doing’.
Pilgrimage can also be a highly sociable activity, allowing us to enjoy the company of others we meet on the road. It gives us the chance re-energise mentally, physical and spiritually. And it allows us to reconnect with our cultural heritage and the natural world—as well as to refresh our faith or seek spiritual direction.
Common reasons for going
People go on pilgrimage for as many reasons as there are pilgrims. And you don’t have to be religious to go on pilgrimage!
Often, people go on pilgrimage when they are at a crossroads in their lives, when undergoing a change in their life’s direction or relationships. Others may be in search of a deeper spirituality, healing and forgiveness. Or it may be that pilgrimage marks a special birthday, retirement or other occasion for giving thanks. It’s also a great adventure with the chance to meet new people and see new places.
For Christians, the reasons for going on pilgrimage might be:
- To set aside time for God and feel closer to him
- To discern his will and guidance at times of transition or difficulty
- To be strengthened in faith
- To feel inspired by the communion of saints who have gone before us
As a mission community we plan to organise and participate in pilgrimages across our community, from churches to mountains and lakes. Watch this space for more information.