Pil­grim Ways steer­ing group is set up

The Oban Times - - British, Marriages & Deaths -

AT A meet­ing in Oban on Wed­nes­day June 21, lo­cal mem­ber or­gan­i­sa­tions of the Scot­tish Pil­grim Routes Forum (SPRF) agreed to set up a steer­ing group of lo­cal vol­un­teers to de­velop and pro­mote pil­grim­age walk­ing routes link­ing the many his­toric cen­tres of Chris­tian her­itage in all parts of Ar­gyll.

This im­por­tant step fol­lows an ear­lier meet­ing hosted by SPRF at Dal­mally last au­tumn, and is part of the forum’s ex­pand­ing work across Scot­land.

The new steer­ing group, com­pris­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tives of lo­cal faith tourism, her­itage, churches, youth work and walk­ing group bod­ies, plans to up­grade the sta­tus of ex­ist­ing routes like the Kin­tyre and Cowal Ways for pil­grim­age use and to cre­ate oth­ers us­ing ex­ist­ing core paths where pos­si­ble.

In time, this net­work will cre­ate a dis­tinc­tive ad­di­tion to the western sec­tion of the coast to coast Iona- St An­drews Pil­grim Way, which is a recog­nised pri­or­ity of the Na­tional Walk­ing and Cy­cling Net­work pro­moted by the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment.

Jonathan Sheldrick, chair­man of the Heart of Ar­gyll Tourism As­so­ci­a­tion and con­vener of the steer­ing group, said: ‘ We are ex­cited to be a partner of the broader Columba Way/Slìghe Chaluim Chille dis­cus­sions along with part­ners Bòrd na Gàidhlig, Ar­gyll and Bute Coun­cil, Ar­gyll Long Dis­tance Routes Forum and oth­ers which sets out to link com­mu­ni­ties in Ire­land and Scot­land, de­vel­op­ing lan­guage and as­so­ci­ated her­itage as a ba­sis for tourism, es­pe­cially faith tourism, eco­nomic devel­op­ment and ed­u­ca­tion.

‘We would in­vite all per­sons and lo­cal or­gan­i­sa­tions will­ing to help to con­tact us at chair­man@ hearto­far­gyll.com.’

The steer­ing group will op­er­ate un­der the aus­pices of SPRF in de­vel­op­ing a new web­site and lit­er­a­ture for the Ar­gyll routes and will help pro­mote es­sen­tial lo­cal ser­vices such as ac­com­mo­da­tion, trans­port links and food out­lets. Meet­ings will be held in dif­fer­ent venues to en­gage with lo­cal peo­ple.

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