Diocesan Pilgrimage Number 1

Last Saturday we tried something new in St Mary’s. It was the first of the diocesan pilgrimage days and Saturday’s invitation was to the churches of Renfrewshire and Ayrshire.

It was wonderful to welcome so many people into the building, many of whom had not been here before. It was also great to engage with folk in a different way to previous invitations. Some people love coming to big services and some will know the cathedral through things like the election process for a bishop. This was different – it was a day of renewal and faith development and it was great fun into the bargain.

First activity of the day was a pilgrimage around the building. I’ve done this before – rather than doing a historical tour of the building (there are others who are better qualified to do this than I am). Instead I do it thematically, starting from the font and working my way around the seven traditional sacraments of the church.

The intereesting thing about this kind of tour is that it just gets better when people ask questions on the journey and the questions on Saturday were excellent. There were also some folk present who remembered things being shifted around the building. We got to talk about nave altars and achitecture which sees God amongst us. We talked about changing patterns of confirmation and baptism, the ways in which we have seen marriage changing and all kinds of other things.

The pic at the top shows me holding forth at the font.

After the tour there was some free time, lunch, a series of optional activities and then Eucharist with Bishop Gregor and a pilgrim’s blessing at the end.

It was fantastic and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole day.

Next pilgrimage is om 17 March 2012 – more details here.

Many thanks to Linda Rayner for the picture.

Diocesan Pilgrimage Days

We’ve got something new starting up this week at St Mary’s. On Saturday we are having the first of three Diocesan Pilgrimage Days which are going to take place during Lent.

Bishop Gregor has invited members of the diocese to join him in pilgrimage to St Mary’s. We’re doing it by Regional area and this Saturday it is Ayrshire and Renfrewshire who are invited.

The structure of the days is available online here  along with the dates for the other parts of the Diocese.

We’ve got a good number coming on Saturday but there is still room for a few more if anyone from those parts of the diocese would like to join in.

The first part of the day will be about exploring the building – I’m going to do a guided tour based on the sacraments and there will be time for photographs, spotting things previously unseen and asking those locals present questions.  (I’ll give five points to anyone who can spot the badger and another five to anyone who can find the starfish).

In the afternoon we are having some workshops for the pilgrims to choose from – something biblical, something spiritual and a trip to another local place of worship are on offer to the Pilgrims. (If we have more people there than we expect, I might offer my “All you want to know about Christian Ethics in Six Cartoons” workshop as well, we’ll see).

It will all finish off with a Eucharist celebrated by Bishop Gregor and a blessing for the pilgrims before they go home.

So, if you are from Ayrshire or Refrewshire and want to come, just let the office know (0141 339 6691) and bring a packed lunch. If you are already coming, feel free to ask around and nudge someone else into coming. Oh, and ecumenical friends are welcome too, so if you are coming here and want to bring a pal from another tradition, you know what to do.