Blog (Latest News, Info and Updates)

Journeying Day walk in the Yorkshire Dales 13th April

Tuesday 16th April 2024
Sue Degnan

Gill Page and Sue Degnan led a day walk from Kettlewell to Starbotton in the Yorkshire Dales on behalf of Journeying in mid April. We met in Kettlewell (Knapeley in the film Calendar Girls). The walk crossed the river Wharfe and climbed steadily on a rocky path up to a beautiful, typical Dales farmhouse - Moor End Farm, and provided fabulous views along Wharfedale and the meandering course of the river. We descended through coppiced woodland to re-cross the river at a footbridge and lunch in the village of Starbotton, including a drink at the local hostelry. The return path followed the Dales Way through the fields alongside the river. We experienced true April weather with sunshine and showers, but in spite…

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THE SKELLIG ISLES

Sunday 7th April 2024
David Gleed

The Skellig Isles lie eight miles off the coast of County Kerry, Ireland. For years, Skellig Michael, the larger of the two adjacent islands, was home to perhaps the most isolated Christian community the world has ever known... Journeying has travelled to Skellig Michael on several occasions. We re-discovered this poem a while ago written following our visit in 2004. SKELLIG MICHAEL Mysterious Skellig, awesome rock, Atlantic force for thy embrace - Today to me your strength unlock To share with saints of old, your face. Great Skellig! O wondrous Skellig, living rock Adorned with flowers of vibrant hue, Where sea birds for their nesting flock And God still speaks - with words anew. Great Skellig! (Jennifer Smith. May 2004) Image: The Skellig Isles with Skellig Michael on the right.

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Castle Combe and the Wiltshire Cotswolds Day Walk - Saturday 16th March.

Sunday 24th March 2024
David Heathcote

Our first day walk of the year was in Wiltshire on the edge of the Cotswolds. A lovely sunny start to the day had turned cloudy as ten people and two dogs set off from the village of Yatton Keynell. The chosen route had taken the time of year into account, but as we turned off the road onto the first field path it became clear that prolonged periods of rain had resulted in some muddy ground. Surface conditions improved as we picked up what seemed an ancient trackway following the parish boundary. Our proximity to the Castle Combe Race Circuit was evident as the sounds of nature struggled to make themselves heard over roaring engines. A stretch of road…

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Journeying Poetry Competition 2023 Winner Announced

Monday 18th December 2023

The Judges are pleased to announce, Wendy Stickley with her poem, Jill is the winner of Journeying's third annual poetry competition. Jill She hugged trees, did my whacky friend, she talked to bees and flowers ... and trees. She was the first 'friend of the earth' I knew. She grew her veg organically, did nothing much mechanically, but everything with love. Summer evenings she would walk up on the downs, with child and kittens in a pram, six goats, bells tinkling, and a dog following like lambs, through harebells sprinkled at her feet, sweet scent of honeysuckle in the air. Yes, there was love, and love to spare. She had capacity, audacity, to love all things; to rise above sorrows as if on wings. She baked bread without bitterness, used heart not head to listen;…

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Advent in the Valley - Tintern Abbey Day Way

Tuesday 5th December 2023
David Gleed

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas... As the season changes from autumn to winter here in the UK, a group of twelve pilgrims walked the Wye Valley on the eve of Advent, beginning and ending at magnificent Tintern Abbey. A frosty day, we made our way across the old Wire bridge and up through woodland to the Devils Pulpit, with views back to the abbey - although by now we were 'in the clouds and the view today was lost in the mist. Along parts of Offa's Dyke and through fields, our journey now took us to the pretty village of Brockweir, with its picturesque, whitewashed Moravian chapel on the banks of the Wye. Seated inside with the…

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October 2023 Newsletter

Thursday 19th October 2023
Jane Moffett

Our Newsletter is packed full of latest news and interesting articles. You can download our latest edition by clicking here. If you would like to receive the latest edition direct to your email inbox you can sign up to join our mailing list here. We won't send on your email address to anyone else.

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Frome Valley Walk

Saturday 30th September 2023
Sue Peachey

On Saturday 30th September a group of eight people and two dogs met on Frenchay Common in Bristol and enjoyed a leisurely 5 mile walk along the River Frome. Although it was a little muddy underfoot the rain held off and the sun even put in an appearance now and again! It was interesting to walk through what had once been quiet, rural areas, but which were now dominated by the roar of traffic from a ring road and motorway above our heads. Much of the walk was, however, peaceful, with the sounds of the river accompanying us along the Way. We stopped for lunch near a local football pitch and a couple of our number had the chance of…

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Journeying Poetry Competition 2023

Thursday 14th September 2023
David Gleed

Welcome to the third annual Journeying Poetry Competition This year's theme Poems of any length are invited and should follow a theme of Soul Friends. Getting your entry in Entries should be emailed to info@journeying.co.uk and arrive no later than midnight (GMT) on Saturday 21st October 2023. The winning entry will be announced on the 15th December 2023. Just one entry per person. There is no charge. Keep it original Entries must be original and not previously published elsewhere. All entries will be judged anonymously. Copyright remains with the author. The prize The winning poet will receive a first-place competition certificate signed by the judges and a ten percent discount on any one of next year's holidays from Journeying. The winning poem will be published on the…

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Stourhead Day Walk

Friday 8th September 2023
Sue Peachey

On Saturday 2nd September 2023 a group of 6 people and 2 dogs enjoyed a pleasant stroll around the Stourhead Estate in Wiltshire, which is on the western edge of Cranborne Chase, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. We started at Alfred's Tower and then descended through woodland. As there was mist in the valley the view was not as good as it could have been, but this did not spoil our enjoyment of being surrounded by nature at its finest. On reaching Stourton village we enjoyed our lunch in the pub courtyard, along with many other people who seemed to have appeared out of nowhere! We then made our way up past Stourton House, which is now owned by the…

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Latest Newsletter

Friday 1st September 2023
Jane Moffet

Our Newsletter is packed full of latest news and interesting articles. You can download our latest edition by clicking here. If you would like to receive the latest edition direct to your email inbox you can sign up to join our mailing list here. We won't send on your email address to anyone else.

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Tenby, 13th-20th May

Monday 22nd May 2023
Sue Peachey

On Saturday 13th May a group of six guests and two leaders gathered in Tenby for a wonderful week exploring the Pembrokeshire countryside. We were self-catering and everyone did their bit to share the load and, of course, got to know one another in the process. Our first evening ended with worship on the beach. The following morning some of us attended St Mary's Church in Tenby, then later did a short coastal walk to Penally, birthplace of St Teilo, who was a friend and possible cousin of St David. On Monday we took the boat to Caldey Island and were met there by Father Gildas, a friend of Journeying, who made us very welcome and told us all about the…

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Journeying from St Non's

Monday 6th March 2023

In the January edition of 'Sharing the Journey', we held a competition and posed the question alongside a photograph of a lonely Chapel, close to sea, 'Where are we?' The first person to correctly identify the location was Joy Rousay, closely followed by Martha Whittaker and David Heathcote. Alan Jenkins also sent in an entry, and it came with a story... One thing I remembered clearly was the 'Where are we' photo. It brings back some lovely memories of my first experience of Journeying with you. It is of course the chapel at St. Non's Retreat Centre. That was a wonderful time spent away with God, and with people who love God as much as I do. He gave me some…

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Thirty-five years of Journeying

Wednesday 4th January 2023
David Gleed

The idea of pilgrimage, of journeying from place to place on a voyage of discovery, begins to take root the more we become aware of our own longing for things of the spirit... Journeying was founded in 1988. Since then, we have travelled to many of the most remote and seemingly inaccessible places of pilgrimage in the British Isles; shuddered and laughed together at some of the predicaments encountered along the way; and known the delight of discovering places where for centuries people have felt especially close to God - sacred places, places of pilgrimage. 2023 marks the thirty-fifth year of Journeying! Originally known as Pilgrim Adventure, Journeying remains non-profit seeking, with a spiritual ethos and a faith journey in…

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Advent in the Valley: Brockweir, Tintern and the Wye Valley Day Walk

Friday 16th December 2022
Sue Peachey

On a cold December morning 6 people and 2 dogs gathered for a 7 mile walk from the old railway station at Tintern, through the village of Brockweir and up onto part of Offa's Dyke. This was a new walk for Journeying so the map needed to be consulted a couple of times, but there were some splendid views to be had when we reached the high ground. However, what goes up must come down! The descent to the River Wye was interesting, as there were a lot of fallen leaves on the ground which had frozen, but with care and walking poles we all reached the bottom safely. An ideal spot for lunch was found under a tree, with several…

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Winner of the Journeying Poetry Competition 2022

Monday 12th December 2022
David Gleed

We are pleased to announce that Wendy Stickley has won the 2022 Journeying Poetry Competition with her poem, 'Iona'. From the judges, David Arkell and Phil Craine: We would like to thank everyone who took the time to write a poem for this year's competition. We enjoyed reading the poems and were impressed by the variety of form and content. 'Iona' is a beautifully crafted sonnet with alternating rhymes and a final rhyming couplet. Evocative descriptions and sensory experiences draw in the reader to share the poet's pilgrimage on Iona. Vivid imagery and alliteration portray the natural world, both as a source of awe and also a force against which we sometimes struggle. The poet's interaction with the island is…

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A Rag-Tag Bunch with the Inner Light

Monday 5th December 2022
Paddy Allen

Recently we had our Journeying AGM in the Oblate Retreat Centre in Crewe and had a marvellous walk to Maiden Castle. I was delighted to be able to take a couple of shots of our group toiling up the hill and they have featured as models for a picture that has been knocking about in my head for just about 25 years! On 16 December 1997 (25 years ago) I was ordained in Cape Town, having started my training not even sure whether they were going to allow women to be ordained or not. I actually trained under Archbishop Tutu but he had just retired and the Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane was presiding - another inspirational man. As Anglicans…

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The Hidden Dragon!

Sunday 30th October 2022

In perfect conditions, 'Dragon's Back' in the Peak District, is a stunning experience ... but today, swallowed in rain clouds with zero visibility and super slippery mud, it was a challenging/terrifying experience. Your Journeying leaders accepted the challenge and faithfully followed their intrepid leader, who couldn't record the video without falling over with laughter!! AND then there were the most scrumptious cakes and scones, in the best kept secret in the Peak District: Chapel Tearooms, Hollinsclough - Oh ... what a day! See our Facebook page for the most hilarious video!

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Our lovely Day Walk at The Roaches

Saturday 29th October 2022

We shared a wonderful walk together in The Roaches ... the rain kept away and the sun came out to play and golden leaves shone like bright pennies all around us, creating a magical autumnal landscape for us to journey through. From pretty woodland following a fast flowing river, we squeezed through the impressive rock formation known as Lud's church and almost escaped a mud bath at the bottom (Steve didn't quite!). Then up to the ridge we went, for a picnic and the fabulous panorama waiting for us. We ended at Hanging Rock at the end of the ridge, under blue skies and fluffy clouds ... what a perfect end to a perfect day.

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Tintern Abbey and Wye Valley Day Walk, 17th September

Saturday 24th September 2022
Sue Peachey

On a glorious September morning 7 people and 2 dogs gathered for a walk from Tintern Abbey through the Wye Valley. The route taken was not our usual one as a footbridge over the river was closed for repair work, but we were still able to make our way through the village of Brockweir, stopping at the Moravian church en route, then continuing up into the woodland. Along the Way we stopped for a reflective reading and a poem, the stillness only being broken by the singing of a bird in the trees above us. Our lunch was eaten in a sunlit field, watched from afar by some sheep. We then continued climbing up to the Devil's Pulpit, but none of…

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Our weekend on Dartmoor

Monday 19th September 2022

How blessed we were to have such fantastic weather and journey together through such an amazing landscape for the weekend, on our mini-pilgrimage. The first day we followed trails through the densely wooded cleaves, over giant boulders and along a fast flowing river, in a landscape that looked almost primeval. In the evening we joined together to share supper at Bovey Tracey and laughed lots as we shared stories from our day. The second day gave us the experience of the tors and the high moorland of Dartmoor. We stopped to picnic in the ruins of the most the incredible Iron Age settlement known as Grimspound. In the two days we had walking together sharing conversations and quietness in…

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Journeying Poetry Competition 2022

Wednesday 14th September 2022
David Gleed

Welcome to the second Journeying Poetry Competition! This year's theme: Poems of any length are invited and should follow a theme of On Pilgrimage. Getting your entry in: Entries should be emailed to info@journeying.co.uk and arrive no later than midnight (GMT) on Saturday 22nd October 2022. The winning entry will be announced on the 12th December 2022. Just one entry per person. There is no charge. Keep it original: Entries must be original and not previously published elsewhere. All entries will be judged anonymously. Copyright remains with the author. The prize: The winner will receive a first-place competition certificate signed by the judges and a ten percent discount on any one of next year's holidays from Journeying. The winning poem will be published on the Journeying website, Social…

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Walking into Quietness

Monday 12th September 2022

What a magical day! There are no words that can capture what we experienced together, which is why so many of us were companions in silence or spilled over into tears.

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A day well lived

Saturday 27th August 2022

Our walk was lovely and our group was a happy one - despite the intense heat! As well as all the `getting to know each other'; we shared freshly picked apples and plums and picked blackberries along the way. It was a delightful little walk that had the feeling of a much longer route ... perhaps because Pepper's sense of time and distance is rather 'elastic': 10 minutes to lunch was about 25!!' There was so much countryside crammed into our day - woodland, river valleys, tow paths, historic villages, the site of an ancient Carthusian Friary and MORE woodland. Julianne, one of our walkers, said "this walk has everything except a bit of coastal path!" We enjoyed fellowship…

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Singing Birds and Silence . . .

Sunday 17th July 2022
A collection of poems by Janet Wilkes

Janet first travelled with Journeying to West Wales some ten years ago. Singing Birds and Silence is her second book, her first, After The Blossom,` is autobiographical and a lovely read. Janet's debut poetry collection is a treat. The poems speak with a grounded, real-life quality, that capture the moment perfectly - you can't help but be caught up in the occasion... 'There are many forms of writing poetry and anyone can do it', Janet says. 'All you need to do is take a pen and describe the place you're in, ether where you are or in your thoughts'. Janet does this wonderfully. Here's the title poem: SINGING BIRDS AND SILENCE Singing birds and silence remind me of Christmas long ago with…

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Journeying on Holy Island - Lindisfarne

Wednesday 8th June 2022
David Heathcote

By Monday midday, the tide had receded sufficiently to allow our pilgrim group to cross the causeway in safety to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne and we settled into Marygate House, our base for the week. There was time to unpack and introduce ourselves over a cup of tea before our leader Steve drove us to the mainland so we could walk back to the island across the Pilgrims Way, following the poles across what becomes the seabed when the tide comes back in. Four of us tackled the sands, while one walked along the road causeway. Two chose traditional bare feet, while two used appropriate(?) footwear. Setting off across the sands, we occasionally had to paddle in a few…

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EASTER ON THE PLAIN DAY WALK - 16th APRIL 2022

Friday 22nd April 2022
Sue Peachey

On Easter Saturday morning a group of 12 pilgrims (and 3 dogs!) left the village of Heytesbury in Wiltshire in glorious sunshine for a 7 mile circular walk. We first made our way up to the edge of Salisbury Plain, the majority of which is owned by the Ministry of Defence, although there is plenty of access for members of the public. Along the Way we listened to an Easter bible reading and got to know each other. There was quite a wide age range of people which made it interesting and some had travelled quite a way to join us. After stopping to have our packed lunches we continued down off the Plain to the small village of Upton Lovell…

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For Those Who Have Far to Travel - a poem by Jan Richardson

Thursday 7th April 2022
Sue Peachey

As an Associate Leader with Journeying, this poem resonates with me as I feel it so accurately describes our daily journeys in life. We are all pilgrims who encounter obstacles and doubts along the way, but by keeping going we can be reassured that the journey is worthwhile. Sue Peachey For Those Who Have Far to Travel An Epiphany Blessing If you could see the journey whole, you might never undertake it, might never dare the first step that propels you from the place you have known toward the place you know not. Call it one of the mercies of the road: that we see it only by stages as it opens before us, as it comes into our keeping, step by single step. There is nothing for it but to go, and by our going take the vows the pilgrim takes: to be faithful to the next step; to rely on more than…

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Connections… Journeying through Galloway, Scotland

Wednesday 16th March 2022
By Joy Rousay

Not long after the Gatehouse of Fleet walk was announced for May 2015, my friend Patricia and I made our booking, and because we were travelling from Western Canada and we knew it was imperative to make our plans early. This would be our second Journeying adventure, the first being to Iona and Mull in 2013 and we were eager to participate again. I knew that my maternal grandfather, David Porter had come to Canada from Galloway in 1888 as a 9-year-old - Kirkinner Parish, Wigtown - to be exact, but I wasn't aware of any family connections in Dumfries on the east side of Wigtown Bay. Mere days before the tour was to begin, I was amazed to…

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Walking to an Island . . . Iona

Saturday 12th February 2022
David Gleed

Journeying in Scotland is always wonderful! This June, 2022, we explore the Islands of Mull, Ulva and Iona, and in 1997 it was the same! But on that occasion the journey began in Applecross on the shore of Wester Ross... The view from on top of the treacherous 'Bealach-Na-Ba', the pass of the cattle, toward the small township of Applecross and the islands of Raasay and Skye, provides one of those classic Highland and Island, land and seascapes; rugged hills tumbling down to a turquoise sea with islands and mountains on the horizon - a view I first glimpsed, though without the colour, in the vintage film 'Laxadale Hall,' an endearing tale of a community determined to win its fight to…

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Journeying Poetry Competition

Wednesday 26th January 2022

Here are three more poems from our inaugural poetry competition where we welcomed poems inspired by a pilgrim-journey to one or other of the Christian pilgrimage sites of Britain and Ireland, or by a longing to undertake that journey. Journeying By Yvonne Dixon Together we walk in step with the waves With horizon eyes and breeze-rinsed ears, Speaking slows to the pace of the heart, Prayer paths transform our longings and fears, Thoughts now follow the rhythm of the soul. I see you anew each day, Pilgrim Friend, Adjust first impressions, appreciate gifts, Filled with thanks as this journey draws to its end. Kevin of Glendalough By Michael Mitton Gentle Kevin, Few heard your footsteps in the forest As you searched for your place of prayer. You came to your mountain like an evening mist; Mystery hung…

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Journeying Poetry Competition 2021

Friday 3rd December 2021
David Gleed

For our inaugural Journeying poetry competition, we welcomed poems inspired by a pilgrim-journey to one or other of the Christian pilgrimage sites of Britain and Ireland, or by a longing to undertake that journey. The winning poem by Rosemary Power, Glen Nant, was published on this website on November 15th, but with so many excellent entries we thought we would publish others over the coming weeks. Here are three, by Laurie-Mo Gullachsen, Andrew Vessey and Pam Pott: Pilgrimage By Laurie-Mo Gullachsen In breath In steps In balance In hope In silence In listening In joy In despair In community In solitude In fellowship In striving In shadows In light In darkness In fear In bravery In loss In abundance In determination In peace In prayer I am called Forward For I am guided And I will not be lost I will follow In patience In peace In love In fellowship In faith I will go…

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Winner of the Journeying Poetry Competition Announced

Monday 15th November 2021

We are delighted to announce that Rosemary Power's poem entitled Glen Nant is the winner of Journeying's inaugural poetry competition: Glen Nant That day before spring The westering sun touched brown boughs pale gold and birch trunks glowed soft silver. Did once tired feet seeking elusive Love come down the glen and see the pilgrim path alight with hint of hope beyond their time? Did the Nant wash stained bruises, soil, off soles, _and Cruachan raise her crown, white still and wheeled_ with eagles, her flanks sheltering deer? Did the sun touch plague-weary wanderers of our time, rootless and yearning for lands behind the light? Was each enclosed in glow that day embracing hungry body and defeated mind, and shine pale gold? (Glen Nant, near Taynuilt, Argyll, Scotland is part of a medieval pilgrimage route). David Arkell, one of the judges…

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COP26

Saturday 25th September 2021
David Pott

When people feel passionately about an issue, walking is quite often a response. This is definitely the case with Climate Change and it sounds as if there may well be a significant number of walkers arriving in Glasgow at the start COP26 in November. Here are two initiatives that it would be good for people in the Journeying Community to be aware of if you are not already... The Young Christian Climate Network describes itself in this way: "We are an action-focused community of young Christians in the UK aged 18-30, choosing to follow Jesus in the pursuit of climate justice." They decided to organise a relay walk from Carbis Bay in Cornwall which started on June 14th and at…

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Journeying Poetry Competition 2021

Wednesday 8th September 2021
David Gleed

Welcome to the first Journeying Poetry Competition! Poems inspired by a pilgrim-journey to one or other of the Christian pilgrimage sites of Britain and Ireland, or by a longing to undertake that journey, are invited for the first Journeying Poetry Competition. Getting your entry in Entries should be emailed to info@journeying.co.uk and arrive no later than midnight (GMT) on Saturday 23rd October 2021. The winning entry will be announced on the 15th November 2021. Just one entry per person. There is no charge. Keep it original Entries must be original and not previously published elsewhere. All entries will be judged anonymously. Copyright remains with the author. The prize The winner will receive a first competition certificate signed by the judges and a ten percent discount on…

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Journeying on the Isle of Man - August 2021

Saturday 28th August 2021
David Heathcote

Saturday saw most of us arriving on the Island by air or sea, with our leaders transferring us to Peel on the west coast of the Island. Our group were housed in different properties overnight, but the Deanery was our base where we prepared & ate food, got to know each other, had times of prayer & reflection - and tackled a fiendish 1000 piece "turkey" jigsaw throughout the week! Sunday morning offered a choice of churches for those who wished to join in communal worship. After lunch, Rosemary & Karen led us up to the viewpoint on Peel Hill and along the cliffs. Meanwhile, Phil had collected our final arrival from Douglas, and they caught us up along the coast…

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Cumbrian Cistercian Way - Diary of a Journey, 21st-26th June 2021

Wednesday 14th July 2021
Sue Peachey

On Day 1 we all arrived at our hotel in Grange-Over-Sands and got to meet one another in our allocated sitting room before dinner. As this was the first Journeying trip to take place since 2019 we were all very Covid aware, but the hotel was completely geared up for the safety of their guests so we need not have worried. On Day 2 after morning worship we went to Cartmel and looked around the Priory, where there was an interesting exhibition of painted masks, made by people to express how they had felt during the pandemic. It was very thought provoking. Some of us then partook of the famous Cartmel sticky toffee pudding, before walking quite a long way around…

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Leading on the Trail… some personal reflections

Tuesday 15th June 2021
Ian Coward, Journeying Leader

It begins with ideas and inspiration to explore combined with the anticipation of new places and people to meet. The curiosity and excitement ensues as the planning begins. Maps and the internet become the first experience of the journey to see the reality take shape. It's time to go! The arrival and first meeting of strangers. Often very polite but a sense of asking why are we all here. What have we brought to this time and place to reflect upon, recover from or take forward. A unique time where relationships are formed to prepare for deeper discussions to come. The journey begins and slowly day by day a new rhythm becomes the norm. One of simplicity and consistency that…

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On the Holy Mountain

Saturday 5th June 2021
Cate Macfarlane

In June 2005, leaders Cate Macfarlane and Steve Evemy, travelled with a group to the West of Ireland. They climbed Mount Brandon. These are Cate's thoughts on that climb... Vast, immovable, haughty in her grandeur, the mountain drew us towards her. Soft and rough, grey and green, she revealed more of her great expanse as we climbed ever upwards. Reciting Brendan's Prayer, we remembered fellow pilgrims who had conquered different trails on the towering rock. Mount Brandon, on the south-west coast, in Dingle, Co. Kerry, is the second highest mountain in Ireland, 953 metres high. The ruins of St Brendan's Oratory mark the summit of the mountain. The legend is that the navigator saint climbed the mountain with his seafaring monks to prepare them physically and…

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Marooned!

Saturday 15th May 2021
David Gleed

Marooned on a tidal island; rescued by a minibus driven through a rapidly rising tide; becalmed on a ferry with engine trouble; towed to shore by the rival firm! Our first journey to Ireland was to prove a time of high adventure... Late afternoon, September 14th 1994, and twelve pilgrims are on board the old mail boat noisily pushing its way through a breezy sea toward St Colman's island home, Inishbofin, a few miles off the coast of County Galway. Midway through the voyage a sudden judder from the engines broke the friendly banter and craic of the travellers; we stood in unexpected silence, save for the wash of the sea against the hull and the cry of gull's overhead. We…

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Some Reflections on Bardsey Island

Thursday 15th April 2021
David Pott

I had the good fortune to spend the first five days of October 1996 at the hermitage on Bardsey Island. I am writing these reflections because, in the context of the current resurgence of interest in Celtic Christianity, I do not think the importance of Bardsey has been properly understood. Iona is regarded as the most important island in Scotland associated with Celtic Christianity, and Lindisfarne has a similar importance in England, but Bardsey, which is the most important island in Wales associated with Celtic Christianity, is not so well known. I would like to make a few comparisons which will begin to establish the significance of this island for us today. Firstly, the island, unlike Iona and Lindisfarne, was situated on…

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Book Review: God’s Smuggler by Brother Andrew

Thursday 8th April 2021
David Gleed

I had been aware of this book for years and thought about reading it on many occasions, before eventually sitting down one lockdown afternoon and making a start. Pace, adventure, a gripping human story and the whole thing simply abounding in trust, faith, hope and love... Why had I waited so long to read such an inspiring and well written book. Son of the village blacksmith, Andrew (Anne van der Bijl) grew up in the polder land of Holland. Having joined the army in 1946 he saw active service in Indonesia, before returning home wounded, where one stormy winter's night in 1950 he turned himself over to God - lock, stock and adventure. Materially poor and often finding himself in dangerous…

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Boundless

Thursday 25th March 2021
David Arkell

Praise exultant, cheerful voice, Souls uplifted swell, rejoice, Keen to pave the season's way; Winter knows he cannot stay. Snowdrops gather in their throng Bursting forth with merry song. Daffodils in youthful zest Flaunting halo effloresced. Streams of living water quench Wastelands with abundant drench. Linger not on former things, See the new leap up on wings1 - Eagles soaring, graceful flights,2 Swooping down to novel sights; Untapped well of full potential Grounded in the reverential View of His encircling strength, Limitless in breadth and length;3 Pearls exceeding all conception,4 Blessings showered with affection.5 Freed from shackles holding fast,6 Gripped no longer by the past. Through the desert forge a trail,7 King approaching - let us hail! Vital Source of primal might, Healing glow with gleaming white; Rhythmic step in vibrant dance, Rhapsody of vernal prance! River's bounty, brimming delight,8 Darkness scattered, brilliant Light;9 Fountain feeding spirit's life,10 Nurturing…

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The Triskelion Way - a modern pilgrimage trail

Tuesday 16th March 2021
Phil Craine

The Triskelion Way is a modern pilgrimage trail in the Isle of Man, running 36 miles across the Island through superb scenery, linking the historic Christian centres of Rushen Abbey, Peel Cathedral and Maughold. Since the route was created in 2016, a four-day pilgrimage has been organised each year to help embed the trail physically and in spirit and prayer. In 2020 this was planned for early May but looked like going the way of all flesh when the Covid curtain descended in the Spring. However an early lifting of lockdown allowed the event to be hastily re-organised for the final four days of August. Ancient heritage would be visited along the way: keeills (early chapels), carved…

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God in all Places

Monday 8th March 2021
Paul Heppleston

I wonder how many of you can remember Pilgrim Adventure. That's how Journeying started (it was about 10 years ago that the name was changed). There's quite a bit of overlap between what is meant by 'journeying' and what is meant by 'pilgrimage'. And these days they can almost describe the same thing. We can think about the journey of life as being a pilgrimage with the ultimate destination being God; the paradox is that God is also on the journey with us - and was there encouraging us when we set off at the start.....God being at our beginnings, accompanying us through life and waiting for us at the gate to new life. It's the journey and the destination. As…

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St David's Day - March 1st

Monday 1st March 2021
Iain Tweedale

David was born around 520 and died on 1st March 589. He established his monastery on the banks of the River Alun and must have been pretty tough as he was known for standing chest deep in the river and reciting the psalms, which earned him the nickname of the Waterman. He travelled to Jerusalem where he was given the title of bishop and on his return he founded monasteries all over Wales and the south west of England, including Glastonbury. The town that took his name grew up at the site of the monastery and had already become a major pilgrimage destination by the time the Normans built their huge cathedral on the site to house his relics in…

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Twenty Years of Journeying

Tuesday 23rd February 2021
Steve Evemy

Twenty years ago, my wife saw an advert in the Church Times for a trip to Saint Kilda. She knew that I had read about this remote place, and suggested that I book myself onto the trip. So, I did. Before then I had never been north of Edinburgh. I went with an old school-friend, and enjoyed the experience. That was my first contact with Journeying, then called Pilgrim Adventure. The following year I took my older son, John, who was then 12, on a Journeying trip to SW Ireland. He still remembers climbing Skellig Michael, and seeing the puffins scurrying to their burrows within a few feet of us, as do I. …

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Journey into silence and contemplation

Monday 15th February 2021
Karen Garrett

Hi I'm Karen and I live in the beautiful Isle of Man and this is my faith journey... It started when I was a child but became real as a teenager and older adult. Over the years my faith developed through attending and leading youth groups, being part of a Beach Mission team for over 30 years, and going to various gospel rallies and Spring Harvest in the early eighties. Going from a small Island to a massive tent full of worshippers at Prestatyn was a bit of a shock to my system at first but it became an annual event for a few years. Looking back, I realise how important it had been to me to be nourished away from traditional Church.…

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Evensong

Friday 29th January 2021
David Harkell

Sky azure, faintest breeze, Golden twilight orb lies low; Rays too weak to lift the freeze, Woods beclothed in orange glow. Rigid, sombre, naked trees, Rooted under layers of time; Branches covered once with leaves, Unprotected now from rime. Crispy grass, crunchy mud, Stagnant streams in ditches dim. Fields stark drenched by flood, Scarce a bird on perch or wing. Glistening cobwebs, clodded earth, Ploughed-up furrows creviced deep. Silvery haze of moonlight's birth, Shimmering beams inducing sleep. Murky mere in forest glade, Surface masking hidden bed. Shadows lurk as daytime's fade Cedes to dusk's encroaching tread. Sinking 'neath the pink horizon, Solar halo ebbs away; Darkness spreads his mantle iron, Night arriving, fleeing day. Paling embers slowly die, Wispy clouds exchanging hue. Twinkling stars catching eye, Sprinkled heavens' generous strew. Eerie silence steals, becalms; Echoes past of hectic bustle. Stillness casts her gentle charms, Easing inner, tensive tussle. Blackness lays his mood…

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Lakeland Journey

Tuesday 19th January 2021
David Gleed

This June, 2021, we once again travel to the Lake District in England's North West. Here's a look back to an earlier trip in 1991... The beautiful Lakes, that collection of poetic landscapes, vistas and waters in the far north west of England - a favourite tramping ground of poets and pilgrims alike... Bristol, Birmingham, the journey for many began with a pick-up in the minibus. "Hello and this is... and shall I put your bag on the roof?" And then we were off again; Lancaster, Preston... Two hours at a stretch, no more and then a break for refreshment, often at a motorway service station - I came to like these places; little Oasis on the…

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Advent Poems

Tuesday 22nd December 2020

ADVENT By Jennifer Rowell A very special time of year. D istant music - church bells ring. V isual imprints on our minds. But wait - E mmanuel, Jesus is coming, angels are singing. N o pretence this time. T riumphant return of Christ our King. At last. BONFIRE By Elizabeth Fenney Too many voices alive and dead profane the silence in my head. I rake in memory's ache, hoist high thorny freight, weight of story not told, remembered; plunge it into bonfire's core. Pungent as incense rises the flame. Blaze roars, smelts gold from soul's dross in scorched embers; calms itself, sound gone to ground, gash of ash place of grace. I step from my shoes sole on earth await what God will bring to birth. A POEM FOR ADVENT By Sue Peachey "The bells of waiting Advent ring" Is how the poem goes, But when will our bells ring…

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Skellig Michael

Friday 11th December 2020
David Gleed

The Skellig Isles lie eight miles off the coast of County Kerry, Ireland. For years, Skellig Michael, the larger of the two adjacent islands, was home to perhaps the most isolated Christian community the world has ever known... Journeying has travelled to Skellig Michael on several occasions. We recently re-discovered this poem written following our visit in 2004. SKELLIG MICHAEL Mysterious Skellig, awesome rock, Atlantic force for thy embrace - Today to me your strength unlock To share with saints of old, your face. Great Skellig! O wondrous Skellig, living rock Adorned with flowers of vibrant hue, Where sea birds for their nesting flock And God still speaks - with words anew. Great Skellig! (Jennifer Smith. May…

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Pilgrims and Poets

Wednesday 21st October 2020
Janet Wilkes

Journeying counts several writers and artists among both guests and leaders. Janet Wilkes has travelled as a guest on a number of occasions. Her most recent poem, The Table, is printed here. Janet has also published a book, After The Blossom, a memoir, that includes her working life in London and Christian journey. We will feature the book in a later blog. The Table By Janet Wilkes A woman filled with gratitude this morning put her tea-tray on the table. Outside - barely visible - was the garden she'd created. The flowers had gone but there were still green leaves. "I'm alive" she thought "and grateful for all of this." She sipped her tea and, as the morning air drew back the curtains of the night, she became…

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For Love Alone

Tuesday 9th June 2020
David Gleed

During an autumn holiday on the Island of Iona, Sister Agnes felt a calling from God to bring the religious life back to the Scottish Islands. Back in her Convent in Devon it was to be seven years (to the day) since setting foot on Iona, that Sister Agnes arrived on the remote Shetland Island of Fetlar... That same call came again. On this occasion, however, God seemed to say to her, 'You may answer yes, or you may answer no. It's your choice, though if you answer no, it will be the end of your vocation as it is meant to be, and I shall ask you no more.' Sister Agnes said, Yes! The story of the years leading up to…

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Book Review: The Way Under our Feet - A Spirituality of Walking. By Graham B Usher

Monday 11th May 2020
Reviewer: David Gleed

My attention Instantly grabbed by the title, I was further delighted to find the text wonderfully light and very readable - just right for warm spring days in the 'lockdown' garden! The book moves effortlessly from one facet of walking to another - pilgrimage, the significance of the Emmaus walk, labyrinths and so on - carrying the reader on a journey that draws you towards the next page. Along the way there are some fascinating observations, some more unexpected than others - I was amazed to learn hip operations can be undertaken with the patient fully conscious and with the expectation that the patient is up and starting to be mobile later that day or early the next! Walking with our…

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Access to the Countryside after Lockdown Ends

Wednesday 29th April 2020
Christine Smith

As we all look forward to the end of the lockdown period thoughts turn to what the future might look like particularly when access to the countryside is so important. When it is safe we are keen to see all the paths that were closed re-open to walkers. Journeying leader, Christine Smith, has been taking a closer look and there are some concerns that not all paths will re-open even when the lockdown fully ends. In the article below she identifies which organisations in the UK are responsible for different types of paths and who we can speak to if we want to ensure access returns when restrictions have finally been lifted: "In the British countryside, we are living through unprecedented…

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Give Thanks

Saturday 25th April 2020
Janet Wilkes

At the end of a perfect day give thanks. For the warmth of the sun and the sound of The sea-shells shifting as each wave recedes Before another line of white spume is Lifted and dispersed 'long the cobbled beach. For harbour smells of lobster pots mingling With the tang each tide's seaweed brings from the Ocean, candy floss and ice cream parlours. For the spectacle of seagulls swooping To snatch food from the laps of astonished Visitors who, when their coaches leave, will Always say "It's been a wonderful day." So, as you go give thanks to God - give thanks - At the end of a perfect day - give thanks.

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Homecoming

Wednesday 22nd April 2020
Janet Wilkes

Lord, can we go back to where we belong To familiar scenes, likely places Whose auras remind us of places where We have felt safe, where we've been happy and Where, in whimsy, we'd like to go again? …

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Wild Wet Wasteland

Sunday 19th April 2020
Janet Wilkes

Beyond the wild wet wastead's thicket There was a garden, a river, flowers, grasses and fruit trees and a young Couple who took wing and flew away, Now, we need gardens more than ever To reflect, relax and recover, To return to paradise and to Be alone in Eden - to be home To think about our journeying and What caused the sudden expulsion from All we knew and about our returning to the old familiar place. Was it youth or ignorance or pride That led us, when young, so far away? Or were we just misadvised before We were wafted on sultry air to Hard places where God showed us what life Is like for many people - hungry, Dispossessed and alone - beyond the Eastern cherubim that guards Eden? Beyond that wild wet wasteland's thicket There…

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The Final Mile

Thursday 9th April 2020
Janet Wilkes

Here on earth Lord you carried a cross on which the whole world's sins were laid, but, in sight of Calvary you fell beneath the load on the dusty ground and Roman soldiers, having a job to do, seized a pilgrim and, in front of his sons, forced him to shoulder the cross and walk with you through noisy streets of frolicking festival goers leering, jeering and shouting insults as you walked the final mile. He didn't know you Lord but what he was doing for "the least of these my brethren", he did for you! (Janet has travelled on many Journeying adventures and has also served as a volunteer on Iona, with the Iona Community).

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Sounds of Silence in Spain

Monday 6th April 2020
Sue Peachey

As you will know from my previous blog my husband and I live in Almeria, Spain and as I write we have been told that the lockdown period to prevent the spread of coronavirus has been extended to the end of April. We are lucky enough to have a garden but others who live in apartments only have a balcony, which is very difficult for them as in Spain we are not allowed out for exercise as in the UK. However, if you have a dog you are allowed to walk it each day and luckily we have two, so we are a lot better off than some others. What I have noticed most when walking around the rural area in…

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Oneness

Monday 30th March 2020
David Arkell

Darkness shrouds the single seed, Buried deep in earthy tomb; Life, it seems, has fled its course. Trustful wait meets every need, Nurtured in the Mother's womb; Transformation's gentle force. Roots embedded drink and feed, Movement up away from gloom; Gardener's soil of rich resource. Change which nothing can impede. Pushing forth from soft cocoon, Reaching up to Light's applause. Father's hoe to help succeed, Opening out in fruitful bloom, Fragrant grace uplifts, outpours. 25.iii.20 Inspired by a beautiful spring day, thoughts of isolation, and God's unlimited power to revive and renew. Jesus told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and…

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Coronavirus Update

Thursday 19th March 2020
Iain Tweedale

We have been monitoring the situation very closely since the start of the coronavirus outbreak. Our top priority is the safety of our guests, so in line with government policies in the Republic of Ireland and the UK we have postponed the following holidays: - Irish Camino Experience has moved to September 20th-25th - Mull, Iona and Staffa has moved to September 1st-8th - Brecon Beacons and Llangors Lake has moved to October 16th-19th - North Wales Odyssey - is moving to the Autumn with dates being confirmed shortly. We will continue to monitor the situation before moving any more of the journeys in the schedule and we will keep in touch with guests who have already booked on these in the meantime. If you have…

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"Thirty-one years a-travelling."

Saturday 15th February 2020
David Gleed

Saturday June 17th 1989 and a small group of pilgrims gather at a remote moorland chapel on the fringe of the Snowdon mountains. A little over a year from its founding the first Pilgrim Adventure pilgrims were about to set off along the pilgrim's way... Since then we have travelled to many of the most remote and seemingly inaccessible places of pilgrimage in the British Isles; shuddered and laughed together at some of the predicaments encountered along the way; and known the delight of discovering places where for centuries people have felt especially close to God - sacred places, places of pilgrimage. Along the way we changed the name from Pilgrim Adventure to Journeying and evolved a youth wing - Y journey.…

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Day Walk to Tintern Abbey and the Wye Valley - January 2020

Wednesday 15th January 2020
David Gleed

Setting out last Saturday from Tintern Abbey, we said to each other... May God make safe to you each steep May God make open to you each pass May God make clear to you each road And may He take you in the clasp of His own two hands. (Carmina Gadelica) The mud and rain serving only to further cement our wee band of pilgrims, we made our way in good spirits, for the high ground above the Abbey on the other side of the Wye. Along the way we paused every-so-often to listen to a verse or two from William Wordsworth's Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey - with a short time of silent walking after one stop. Lunch was in a hollow, just…

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"Cathedral Pilgrimage in a Day"

Tuesday 14th January 2020
Iain Tweedale

The British Pilgrimage Trust has just launched the Cathedral Pilgrimage in a Day project as part of the 2020 Year of Pilgrimage. You can find out more at Pilgrimages in a day The Trust was set up in 2014 to advance British pilgrimage as a form of cultural heritage that promotes holistic wellbeing for the public benefit that includes physical, social, environmental and spiritual health. They aim to make these benefits accessible to wide new audiences.

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Spirits of Mull

Monday 18th November 2019
Paddy Allen

Speak to the people who live on Mull and the concept of spirit comes up frequently. First of all, there is the tough spirit of the people who live there all the year round - surviving and coming to cherish the rugged landscape and the equally rugged weather - long dark winters blasted by gales and rain, chilly springs which suddenly burst into blossom and glory, summers which can offer balmy blue days that switch in ten minutes (usually when you are at the furthest point of a walk), to driving rain, and then those colourful autumns that are part of Scotland's heritage. It has always been hard to make money, and many people eked a bare living from…

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Walking Together - Annual Gathering for Journeying

Wednesday 30th October 2019
David Gleed

Each year the Journeying team gather at Mount St Bernard Abbey near Loughborough for their annual meeting. For three days business is intertwined with prayer and the rhythm of monastic life, a remarkably dynamic way of getting things done! This year, the annual gathering takes place, 31st October - 2nd November. Mount Saint Bernard Abbey is a place of welcome. It lives the virtues of hospitality... Gaelic Rune of Hospitality I Gaelic saw a stranger yestreen; I put food in the eating place, Drink in the drinking place, Music in the listening place, And in the name of the Triune He blessed myself and my house, My cattle and my dear ones, And the lark said in her song: Often, often, often, Goes the Christ in the stranger's guise, Often, often,…

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Paths of Light

Saturday 19th October 2019
Paddy Allen (Journeying Leader)

Isn't it awe-inspiring how God makes his presence real in the sudden unmanufactured moment that happens in the middle of the mundane. There I was taking the dog on his before bed walk last night. A big moon was making a path across the sea and a heron glimmered among the wavelets on the sand, flexing and stretching his neck waiting, waiting. Then quietly and carefully he stepped across the path of light and slipped his head neatly under the ripples. Then up with a bright silver fish wriggling and sparkling in his beak. He paused for a moment (saying grace?) then a tidy gulp and that was it - a satisfied stomach. Poor fish! I painted a rather stylised…

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Journey Diaries - Croagh Patrick, Ireland

Sunday 13th October 2019
David Gleed

Our first trip to Ireland coincided with that wonderful year of peace, 1994. Sweeping down the road that leads from Castlebar to Westport, Co. Mayo, the pilgrim group caught its first glimpse of Croagh Patrick, Ireland's foremost Holy Mountain and our intended destination. We unpacked and settled into Westport Hostel. Things were still a little formal. Conversation at the evening meal, although interesting, was not yet flowing. However, with pudding over, the film crew pointing cameras at views and not people, and the first 'chore group' busy in the kitchen (sharing the washing up is a great way to make friends and break barriers) things began to feel more relaxed. TV Producer, Jeffrey Milland had made contact a few months earlier,…

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Poems, Prayers and Reflections

Friday 11th October 2019
Phil Craine

Poems, prayer and reflections are a key part of the Journeying experience. Please send us a poem, a thought, a quote from a verse and let us know why it inspires you and we'd be happy to publish it in the blog. To start us off, here is a poem by George Herbert along with an introduction by one of our leaders, Phil Craine, on why it inspires him: "This poem is simply a list of metaphors attempting to grasp different aspects of prayer. They are all different but still ring true to my ear. Prayer can be angry, desperate, consoling and comforting - and the poet's vivid images bring life to these qualities. I think too that…

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New Partnership in Ireland with Waterford Camino Tours

Tuesday 1st October 2019
Iain Tweedale

We're delighted to announce a new partnership with Waterford Camino Tours. The partnership will bring new joint holidays in Ireland and Wales, with the first - the Irish Camino Experience - already scheduled for 22nd-27th March (see our Journeys 2020 page for more details). Waterford Camino Tours is run by Phil and Elaine Brennan. Phil is a nationally celebrated Musical Director, with a PhD in Spirituality and his wife Elaine has a backgound in music and catering. Together they founded Waterford Camino Tours to connect people to something deeper on the inside which is key to being able to overcome the challenges that life throws at us. Phil has been an advocate of social justice over the past few decades. During…

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Prayer Walk in Tenby

Thursday 29th August 2019
David Gleed

Beginning and ending at the Fisherman's Chapel, St Julian's, Tenby harbour, SA70 7BZ Sunday 22 nd September 2019. 4 p.m. - 5 p.m. Prayer walking is a great way to relax and grow spiritually.Alone but not alone, we leave behind for a while, the cares of home and wholly in the moment, walk around a course, stopping at seven 'stations' along the way. There's no charge to take part. Simply email to register; info@journeying,co.uk

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Celtic Connections

Wednesday 7th August 2019
Joy Rousay, Canada

Not long after the Gatehouse of Fleet walk was announced for May 2015, my friend Patricia and I made our booking, and because we were travelling from Western Canada and we knew it was imperative to make our plans early. This would be our second Journeying adventure, the first being to Iona and Mull in 2013 and we were eager to participate again. I knew that my maternal grandfather, David Porter had come to Canada from Galloway in 1888 as a 9 year old - Kirkinner Parish, Wigtown - to be exact, but I wasn't aware of any family connections in Dumfries on the east side of Wigtown Bay. Mere days before the tour was to begin, I was…

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Limericks from the Isle of Cumbrae, Scotland

Monday 5th August 2019
Paddy Allen and guests

A BASKET OF LIMERICKS FROM THE ISLAND IDYLL JOURNEY A talented group of Journeyers came together on the Isle of Cumbrae recently and penned the following limericks for your enjoyment! The forecasters said it would rain Every day of the week we were stayin' But the fact that the sky Remained every day dry Was of course on account of our prayin'. Aw..thanks! To Paddy and Rosemary too We offer a big thank you For a wonderful stay On the Isle of Cumbrae And for making our wishes come true. When Andrew emerged from the sea Blood was streaming all down from his knee. It was bandaged with care By a maiden so fair And Andrew went off with great glee. A lady on a bike ride said That her buttocks had died. She looked in dismay As her kids…

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Way of St David Journal

Thursday 1st August 2019
Lynne Golding

Lynne (on the left of the image in front of St Davids cathedral) is from Brampton, Canada and was a pilgrim on our first Way of St David journey in June. Here is her daily journal packed with observations and insights on pilgrimage on what proved to be an amazing time together: Saturday June 22, 2019 Cardiff - Llangwm Hi everyone, Martha and I began the day in Cardiff with a walk to the Bay Area—an area once the economic centre of Wales as the location from which Welsh coal was exported and later a very poor area of Wales following the cessation of coal production in the area. It is now a revitalized area for arts, sports and civics including the…

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Water

Monday 29th July 2019
Iain Tweedale

Many of our worries come from being unable to live in the present. By worrying about the future or re-running events from the past in our minds we can find it difficult to focus on the here now where we can just be. John Main likes to use the analogy of drops of water for the word or mantra used in meditation or silent prayer. Like the drop of water in a river it contains in itself the whole river, right back to the source and right down to the ocean. The drop of water enters the flow of the river and is part of its entirety in the here and now. There is no future and no past, it…

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The Sacred Spaces of Pen Llŷn

Tuesday 23rd July 2019
Joan O'Rourke

Joan was a guest on the recent Journeying holiday to the north west tip of Wales. Here is what she had to say: "Thank you 'Journeying' for the opportunity to encounter the outstanding natural beauty and awe inspiring sacred spaces of the Llŷn Peninsula. The two leaders, Susan and Phil, ensured that our diverse group were made to feel at ease from the start. The programme was very well organised, the hotel central to the area and the food was fab! Each day opened a new door to thought provoking and often spiritual experiences. Susan, with her personal knowledge of the area, introduced us to people and places we would never have seen otherwise. The result was having precious time for personal…

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St Cuthbert and St Aidan at Lindisfarne and the Farne Islands

Sunday 7th July 2019
Sue Degnan

Journeying recently had a journey to Lindisfarne and the Farne Islands. In our reflections, we followed the Celtic saints who brought Christianity to the English in the north of England. St Oswald, the Northumbrian King, who had been raised on Iona where he accepted Christ, invited monks from Iona to teach his people about Christ. After a first, unsuccessful attempt, Iona sent Aidan (Saint Aidan) to fulfil this mission. Aidan, whose name means flame, was on fire for Christ, but he was also gentle and discreet. He listened to people, great and small, and met them where they were. He loved everyone as a child of God but saw their need for Christ and believed the Gospel to be the greatest…

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The Green Isle

Sunday 30th June 2019
David Gleed

Islands often feature in Journeying holidays... Once, in the Highlands of Scotland, we chartered a small fishing boat to visit the tiny Isle of St. Finnan in the middle of loch Shiel. A lovely place, known locally as the Green Isle. The Island was very overgrown and we needed to clear a way through the brambles and bracken to reach the ruined chapel. Among the ruins, an ancient bronze bell stood on the Altar. Standing inside the chapel we began our evening service with the hymn 'Colours of Day.' Barely had the first verse ended than the heavens opened and a deluge of rain came crashing through the open roof. With the determination of true pilgrims, we continued to sing. And…

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Arrival at St Davids

Friday 28th June 2019
Iain Tweedale

We have arrived at St Davids, the destination of our pilgrimage. We have walked 100km and felt a great accomplishment, as much as from the journey and time together as the destination at the shrine to St David, St Patrick and St Andrew. A poem of St David seems appropriate: St. David's Pilgrimage: Sea and sky before you lie, this earth beneath your trusting feet, God lifted from the Ocean bed marks clear the way. In heritage of ancient days your Pilgrimage goes forth vibrating to a song of known endeavour to quicken every heart and mind. These myriad years our Ancient Land has known and Treasure made, we now absorb. Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of all these things, born of…

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Thoughts on Pilgrimage

Wednesday 26th June 2019
Iain Tweedale

The Bible suggests that spiritual life is a journey. Through the centuries, pilgrims have gone on pilgrimage to find inspiration, to find a new direction in life and for healing. Life is a process of continual change and movement from one state of being to another. Our physical journey is mirrored by an inward journey from the head to the heart. Going on pilgrimage is a rare time when we can just be ourselves. We may not even know who we truly are, so it might be a journey to our lesser known self, our true self. Where we discover who we are, what really matters to us and how to live authentically in line with our true self because…

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Finding God in Nature

Tuesday 25th June 2019
Iain Tweedale

Back in the twelfth century Bernard of Clairvaux said "You will find something more in woods than in books. Trees and stones will teach you that which you can never learn from masters." He was one of the most influential medieval Cistercians who was at the heart of the first wave of expansion of the Cistercian monastic Order as it spread out from its origins in Citeaux. There were once many monasteries and hermitages on The Way of St David. Now, only the names remain but I like to remember Bernard at Monk Haven. Bernard was called on to mediate in the political and church affairs of the day and he wrote a wide range of theological texts. But it is…

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Way of St David

Monday 24th June 2019
Iain Tweedale

Today we saw the spectacular coastline on the Way of St David and I was reminded of these beautiful words: By his word the heavens were made, by the breath of his mouth all the stars. He collects the waves of the ocean; he stores up the depths of the sea. (John 1:3) This passage demonstrates how it is as impossible to comprehend God as it is to count all the waves on the ocean or the stars in the sky. This seems particularly apt on the Way of St David as it is such a good place to sit and observe both. There is no better place to observe the waves as they come from the Irish Sea. To watch…

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Pilgrimage to St Davids

Saturday 22nd June 2019
Iain Tweedale

Today we start a pilgrimage to St Davids, the smallest city in Britain, named after the sixth century patron saint of Wales. Over the next week we'll share some of the sights and readings from the 100km walk, starting with a poem by Peter Millar: Lord of every pilgrim heart, you are beside me and before me on the way, surprising me through your Spirit at every turning on the path. Yet, like your disciples on the Emmaus road, I often fail to recognise my companion. In this morning hour, and in whatever the day may hold, open my eyes to see your presence, that I may celebrate with you the gift of the morning, O Lord of the unexpected. …

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A Hesitant Start

Monday 17th June 2019
David Gleed

Thirty years ago, today... Saturday June 17th 1989 and a small group gather in the evening light at a remote hillside chapel on the fringe of the Snowdon mountains. A little over a year from its founding the first Journeying (then Pilgrim Adventure) pilgrims were about to set off along the pilgrim's way. The following morning, I waved the group off and watched them for a while as they made their way across the parched grass and down the narrow valley, east of the great cone-shaped hill that had sheltered us the night before. "Keep the hill to your right" a helpful bystander called. It was a fine mid-summer day, sure to get hot before we rendezvoused again at camp number…

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New Journeying Leaders

Friday 7th June 2019
Iain Tweedale

We are delighted to welcome two new members to the Journeying team; Sally Welch and Duncan Weaver: Sally Welch is the Vicar of Charlbury with Shorthampton and Area Dean of Chipping Norton. She has been walking the pilgrim routes of Great Britain and Europe for twenty years, sometimes alone or with members of her numerous family, sometimes leading groups - always with enthusiasm for the adventures the journey will bring. She is the author of several books on pilgrimage and labyrinths and the editor of BRF (Bible Reading Fellowship) New Daylight Bible reading notes. Duncan has had a varied and interesting career in which he has worn several uniforms and is currently the chaplain at Bloxham school, a co-educational Anglican boarding school,…

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Pilgrim (a new poem from the Divine Loves collection)

Sunday 2nd June 2019
David Arkell

Pilgrim Wondering where it may be found - Space we long to call a home; Nest in which the self unbound Truly feels its essence own. Searching often far and wide, Ceaseless quest for restful dell; Put the bitter trials aside, Calm the soul's disturbing well, Seek the stillness of the core, Inner sanctum's deep tranquillity; Learn to shut the outer door Barring shallow superfluity. Striding up to giddy heights, Mountain peak and coastal scene - Preview of celestial sights, Frisson pure, vista serene; Beauty on such stunning scale, This could be Elysium's field, Were it not for human wail, Cleaving sword of conflict's wield. Here we have no resting place,1 Just a worldly passing-through; Fragile body, name and face Closely known by precious few. Never fully comprehended, Lonely in the secret parts; Wanting needs left unattended, Minds unblossomed, broken hearts. Looking for the real abode, Where that lies who…

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The View from Spain

Saturday 25th May 2019
Sue Peachey

As a past leader with Journeying and now an Associate, I was pleased to be asked to contribute an occasional blog from where I am now living - in Southern Spain, Almeria to be exact. What a beautiful part of the country it is and, being lucky enough to be retired, I have the time to explore it and get to know some of the people that I meet on my travels. Last September saw myself, my husband and our dog packed into our car along with many sundry belongings, as we set off on our long journey to our new home here. It wasn't the first time we'd done it, as we had visited our holiday apartment here…

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Like Bright Stars

Thursday 23rd May 2019
Iain Tweedale

For the last few nights there have been clear skies with still warm evenings. It is most unlike Wales, which is usually characterised by leaden skies, cold rain and wind. Last night though it was quiet and I looked up into the sky where there were countless stars shining brightly. Paul encouraged the early Christians by comparing them to stars. They must not have felt that they were countless though as they faced isolation and persecution, but as they looked up they must have wondered about the endless nature of God. The light that we can see from these stars started its journey across the universe at the time of the first Christians and the light that is being emitted…

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Refections on Gower

Tuesday 21st May 2019
David Heathcote (with photos by Huw Riden)

I have had a couple of weeks to reflect on my first ever holiday with Journeying, so a good time to pass on my thoughts as a newcomer. It was not a great start as a Welsh pothole gave me a puncture, requiring an RAC-towed detour to KwikFit (other tyre dealers are available) in Barry. This, plus heavy M4 bank holiday traffic, saw me arrive at Nicholaston just as dinner was being served, which was very welcome as I had not been able to get a proper lunch. The friendly company and relaxed atmosphere soon made me forget that day's frustrations, and evening worship followed by a walk up Cefn Bryn in the setting sun began to put me in…

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Blaeberries and Salmonberries in Springtime

Thursday 16th May 2019
Paddy Allen

I have been having fun racing against time to capture blossom before it bursts into business-like growth. You make lovely discoveries. I thought the vibrant little green twigs pushing up on the woodland floor and on the hillside was evidence of remarkably prolific bloom. Then I suddenly found that they had sprouted small smooth leaves hiding small claret coloured heathery bells. I checked my app and, hey presto! Blaeberries! I had never found their flowers before. Looking forward to the crop and space left in the picture for the berries. And another pretty purplish flower a bit like mallow but not. So I checked the app (wonderful technology newly acquired) and discovered it was a version of rubus spectabilis (salmonberry…

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Free Day Walk to St Davids, Pembrokeshire, Wales (June 1st)

Wednesday 8th May 2019
Iain Tweedale

Join us on our next day walk at St Davids on Saturday June 1st. Starting Point: 10.30am, Ty'r Pererin Education & Pilgrimage Centre, St Davids, SA62 6PD. Return at 4.30pm by bus from St Justinian. Our 8 mile journey is organised jointly with St Davids Cathedral's Ty'r Pererin Education & Pilgrimage Centre and begins in the tiny city of St Davids founded by the patron saint of Wales in the sixth century on a promontory pushing out to sea at the furthest point of south west Wales. This foundation became a major centre of Celtic Christianity and an important place of pilgrimage. Today the lovely Cathedral of St David lies in a little valley in what is perhaps the most…

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Journeying on Gower

Tuesday 7th May 2019
Huw Riden

So, we woke up this morning, ate a full English/Welsh breakfast in our delightful residence, Nicholaston House Christian Retreat and then headed off to the beach. Dave and Dave walking and talking - a most Journeying activity! As we walked along the beach we were looking for a little church hidden in the trees at the far end. As we journeyed closer we could start to pick out the shape of the little church. And then we found it. Our route home led us past more wonderful views. We arrived back at Nicholaston House with aching feet and stomachs. But after a delicious meal, a scrub up and a time of prayer I took this snap from the bedroom window. A great day.

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Walking with a Friend

Thursday 2nd May 2019
Sue Degnan

After a frustrating or hectic day at work, it is a great blessing to have a dog to walk - especially in good weather and light evenings! A chance to get out into the countryside or local open spaces and realize there is more to life and to remember that ultimately God is in control. It is great to get right away - on a Journeying holiday - but it is also good to take a mini-break each day to give thanks for the beauty of creation and faithful friends.

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Pilgrimage to Rome

Monday 29th April 2019
Iain Tweedale

I have just finished watching the BBC series Pilgrimage and it led me to re-read Gerard W Hughes book In Search of a Way about his own pilgrimage to Rome in the 1970s. I thought some of my observation on his words might be of interest: The beauty and peace of the countryside you walk though takes hold of you like an inner cleansing of the mind and senses and you begin to notice simple things, the rocks, the flowers, the birds as though you are seeing them for the first time, learning new spiritual truths on the way. Silence and space: the silence on the path is not the noisy kind of silence you keep when in the city, where…

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Diary of a Human Rights Monitor

Sunday 28th April 2019
Rosemary Clarke

This time last year I was about to leave Israel. I'd spent three months in Palestine as a human rights monitor with EAPPI (Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme for Palestine and Israel), a World Council of Churches' initiative. And what a time it had been! I had never been to the Holy Land and I had little idea of the challenges facing many Palestinians. Based in Yatta, a city of some 100,000 people south of Hebron, I was part of a team of four. Abed, our Palestinian translator and driver helped us to understand our role and carry out our work. This was varied. Our brief was to provide a protective presence when necessary and to follow…

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Good Friday

Friday 19th April 2019
Paddy Allen

Most precious Lord I saw them nailing you to the cross. The tangle of limbs and grumpy voices, The workmanlike grunt of a man Doing one more of a row of jobs, The tearing of rough iron through your flesh. I looked into your suffering eyes As I approached with my small bundle Of woes and paltry sins, Almost as if I'd come too late - You seemed so busy with your agony. Yet there I stood, Sick to death in the trap of myself, And your eyes In their weariness past understanding Gently drew me Inviting me to put my bundle down. But I recoiled. Me! I loved you - How could I add to your load? And still your eyes drew me firmly, Till I saw that I was expected, That, like it or not, My sins had already…

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Inspired By The Journey

Tuesday 16th April 2019
David Gleed

Journeying has just published Inspired By The Journey. This collection of poems, stories, writings and illustrations has been contributed by guests and leaders who have journeyed with us on holidays over the past few years. The contributions are inspired by travels in the spirit of pilgrimage, to beautiful and sometimes remote parts of Britain and Ireland. If you would like to download a free copy please click on the 'View More" button below and then click download here. Once the PDF document appears, to download it click the downward arrow at the top right of the screen.

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Day Walk to Tintern

Saturday 13th April 2019
Iain Tweedale

We had a great day walk to Tintern and the Wye Valley today. Lots of sunshine, views and good company plus some poetry by Wordsworth: "Therefore am I still A lover of the meadows and the woods, And mountains; and of all that we behold From this green earth; of all the mighty world Of eye, and ear, - both what they half create, And what perceive; well pleased to recognise In nature and the language of the sense The anchor of my purest thoughts, the nurse, The guide, the guardian of my heart, and soul Of all my moral being." (Tintern Abbey, 1798).

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The Burren, Co. Clare

Thursday 11th April 2019
Paula J. Lee

I knew I wanted to go to Ireland, and I knew I wanted to travel with a small group with a pilgrimage bent. I sat in front of my computer in Denver, Colorado in the winter of 2011 and started researching my options. I discovered Journeying, and was intrigued by the description of their trips and approach. I ended up choosing the trip to the Burren Area of County Clare, and it was a very good choice. I met Cate and Steve at Shannon airport, piled into the van, and we were off. Everyone was welcoming; there were two other Americans, and the rest of the folks were British. The long, guided walks each day were just challenging enough, and…

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Day Walk this Saturday (13th April) - Tintern Abbey and the Wye Valley

Wednesday 10th April 2019
Iain Tweedale

When do people long to go on pilgrimage? In April says Geoffrey Chaucer in The Canterbury Tales. With spring in the air, we gather at historic Tintern Abbey before setting out in a spirit of pilgrimage to explore this lovely part of the Wye Valley immortalised by Wordsworth's poem that showed the importance of nature to Christianity in the Romantic movement of the early nineteenth century. Along the way, we'll walk part of Offa's Dyke, discover Brockweir village with its whitewashed Moravian Chapel on the banks of the river and walk up into the green pastures beyond. The Walk at seven miles is of medium length with moderate terrain involving some rocky section which can be slippy underfoot if it's wet.…

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Pilgrim Diary

Monday 8th April 2019
Iain Tweedale

A group from Journeying set out for a short holiday in the Brecon Beacons In Wales. John Muir, the founder of the National Parks movement in the US, once said: "Keep close to Nature's heart and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean." This is what we did, camping in the heart of this beautiful national park. The holiday had spectacular mountain scenery, waterfalls and secluded wooded valleys and the Holy Spirit was the theme. We followed the spiritual significance of water from the springs and lakes in the mountains down the fast owing streams to the famous waterfall country, which has the largest concentration…

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Hiraeth

Friday 5th April 2019
Alona Harris

Hiraeth - a longing of the soul to come home. When I first came across this word, I felt that is it! That describes how I feel when I come to Wales. But then as I read further, it seems that most feel the definition of hireath cannot be translated easily, or at all, into English. Over many years of traveling to Wales with the Pilgrims, then the Journey folk and on my own; I feel a strong affinity for the country and its' people. It actually starts with the landing in Ireland during the long slow descent through the most luscious green valley; cares, worries and any mental distractions are left behind. Then…

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Creation in all its Glory

Tuesday 2nd April 2019
Adele Trapnell

"Praise to the holiest in the heights and in the depths be praise". This line from the well-known hymn is the essence of what Journeying means to me and brings to mind my first 'Pilgrim Adventure' in June 2002, as well as my most recent in April 2014. My first adventure took me to the tiny island of Skellig Michael, off the south-west coast of Ireland, where 6th century monks lived and worshipped their creator. Wishing to live a life of sacrifice and faith, much in the spirit of St Anthony going out into the desert, they built tiny 'beehive' huts on the top of this remote rocky island which are still standing today... …

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Llandaff Cathedral

Saturday 30th March 2019
David Arkell

Stately towers of grandeur fine Framing noble, weighty doors; Offering pilgrims restful pause Down the centuries' coursing time. Enter now this hallowed place, Let the outside world subside; Worries and fears allayed; abide. Feel the moment, present space. Vast dimensions, spacious scope, Tombs encasing history's bones; Massive columns, ancient stones Built by labourers' concrete hope. Air with incense sweet imbued, Portly arches stretching high; Windows stained in motley dye, Dimness strange of light subdued. Choir's wafty tones ascend, Sonorous notes of pipes ornate; Haunting chants and psalms elate, Harmony's striking colours blend; Range of pitch from depth to height, Resonant echo, glorious sound; Vibrant expansion, fullness round, Glimpsing angels' chorus white. Rousing hymns, spirits raised, Minds infused with inspiration; Joined in chords of exultation, Christ our Lord, His name be praised! Inspired by a visit…

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Y Journey - the youth wing of Journeying

Wednesday 27th March 2019
Jon Wilkinson

Y Journey was conceived in 2010 when two Church leaders sat down at a party and began to imagine what a Journeying holiday might look like for teenagers. The fundamental question was this; Can todays teenagers, in our loud, media saturated, information intense culture, meaningfully experience God in creation, the journey, in one another? Well, we decided to give it a go, and with the enthusiastic backing of the Journeying leadership we launched Y Journey in 2011 in the Yorkshire Dales. Naturally, a Y Journey holiday differs in some respects from a conventional Journeying holiday as we are working with high octane, energy filled young people. However, the core values of Journeying were built into the structure…

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Dolphins

Sunday 24th March 2019
Cate Macfarlane

Listening to the music of the blue-green sea, suddenly the rhythm changed. Out of the depths they rose . . . Dolphis. Side by side forming a perfect arc as a prelude to their extraordinary sea dance. They glanced before gracefully dipping and rising again. Mesmerised we watched and listened to the gentle harmony of their breathing. Effortlessly gliding and weaving through the waves, they escorted us across their homeland, the sea. As we marvelled at their performance, they vanished to the depths, where there is no beginning and no end. They had asked for nothing... Cate added; "My thoughts, following the display as we crossed the sea between Tiree and Iona"

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Reflections on Ensay

Thursday 21st March 2019
Carole Hodgkins

I'm an oystercatcher wild and free Soaring in flight over the Ensay sea. I am boldly patterned in black and white, My orange-red legs are a brilliant sight. I have a stout red bill and shrill piping cry. There are people on Ensay and I'm wondering why. Is it the stillness, the peace, or the sheep, The house or the chapel, or the charms of the deep? High I fly over sand and dune, Freedom and song my good fortune. Who is the figure I see below? Where has she come from - where will she go? I'm an oystercatcher without discontent. To follow the Master is my intent. The figure I see is an Adventure Pilgrim, Who strives like me to follow Him! To share the earth, the sky and…

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The Skellig Isles

Monday 18th March 2019
David Gleed

Ten pilgrims, a small boat and a distant island... Eight miles off the coast of County Kerry the stark pointed rock of Skellig Michael explodes out of a 280-foot-deep sea and soars up a further 720 feet. For years, Great Skellig, the larger of two adjacent islands, was home to perhaps the most isolated Christian community the world has ever known. Pilgrims take risks - the Christian journey is an adventure! It was barely four years since our previous trip to these shores. On that occasion, we had become marooned on an island and becalmed on a boat without fuel! But on this particular June morning, with the sun shining and a well-equipped boat waiting to whisk us off to…

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Borders Mushroom

Saturday 16th March 2019
Paddy Allen

On Holy Mountain

Tuesday 12th March 2019
Cate Macfarlane

Vast, immovable, haughty in her grandeur, the mountain drew us towards her. Soft and rough, grey and green, she revealed more of her great expanse as we climbed ever upwards. Reciting Brendan's Prayer, we remembered fellow pilgrims who had conquered different trails on the towering rock. Mount Brandon, on the south-west coast, in Dingle, Co. Kerry, is the second highest mountain in Ireland, 953 metres high. In June 2004 I travelled as group leader with fellow pilgrims from Pilgrim Adventure. The ruins of St Brendan's Oratory mark the summit of the mountain. The legend is that the navigator saint climbed the mountain with his seafaring monks to prepare them physically and spiritually for their journey to the promised land of…

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Oh Small Cross

Saturday 9th March 2019
Ryan Smith

O Small Cross
 O small cross between land and sky
 Connecting earth and heaven, bye and bye.
 How you change the landscape, as you portray Christ's choice to the sons of men
 Everything for me or all for you, nothing more or less
 That is the choice you offer, O small cross of Lindisfarne Written along 'St Cuthbert's Way' (Image courtesy of www.lindisfarne.org.uk)

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Latest News

Wednesday 6th March 2019
Dave Gleed

A few updates from the Journeying team: Day Walks The first walk of spring... Tintern and the Wye Valley, Saturday April 13th Holiday Programme news: We have a few places available on this year's programme: Exploring West Cornwall Rievaulx Abbey and the North York Moors We are also have an additional pilgrimage journey for the Way of St David, Pembrokeshire, Wales: Saturday 17th - Friday 23rd August: Way of St David

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Night Prayer

Wednesday 6th March 2019
Cynthia Spey (with introduction by the editor)

1991 on the banks of Loch Sunart. The weather had been perfect with clear blue skies by day and wonderful sunsets by night. On one particular night, but I'll let Cynthia tell the story... "We stood in the customary circle on the shore, on the night of the full moon, reiterating our constant desire for a quiet night and a perfect end. A moon of huge and astonishing proportions suddenly appeared, filling the whole sky with its presence and painting a blinding path across the sunset-coloured loch from the mountains on the horizon to the waters gently lapping at our feet. It was an awesome sight and the total silence and stillness created a magical scene that was quite uncanny.…

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Isle of Skye

Sunday 3rd March 2019
Paddy Allen

View from on top the Quiraing and a solitary thistle. Paddy lives in Scotland and has been leading holidays with Journeying since 2018. Both drawings were painted during our Isle of Skye holiday, 2018.

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Lundy Island

Thursday 28th February 2019
Janet Wilkes

My first 'Journeying', 6 years ago, to Lundy Island, was memorable. Not just for the epic sea voyage getting there and the swathes of late bluebells and black rabbits but for a unique relief inside St Helen's, Lundy's Parish Church. Similar to other churches of its age there was, behind the altar, the Ten Commandments. But to its right, instead of the Creed, there was a relief of Aaron putting on the head of a goat the sins of the people before releasing it into the wilderness. This concept of forgiveness I have never seen elsewhere. And, in an urban setting, it could well be lost. But on Lundy Island, with its vast sweeps of lonely land, the symbolism seemed perfect.…

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Candlelight

Monday 25th February 2019
Hilary

Candlelight circles hallowed stones, embraces the expectant. Prayer emptied out until silence listens for the Unseen. Surprised by wordless Wisdom. Simply enfolded. God being present. Written following a service in Iona Abbey ... Hilary went on to say, 'The Sunday evening Abbey service was one of quiet reflection. In the stillness, I came to the end of my questions to God. I gave Him space.'

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God in All Places

Thursday 21st February 2019
Paul Heppleston

I wonder how many of you can remember Pilgrim Adventure. That's how Journeying started (it was about 10 years ago that the name was changed). There's quite a bit of overlap between what is meant by 'journeying' and what is meant by 'pilgrimage'. And these days they can almost describe the same thing. We can think about the journey of life as being a pilgrimage with the ultimate destination being God; the paradox is that God is also on the journey with us - and was there encouraging us when we set off at the start.....God being at our beginnings, accompanying us through life and waiting for us at the gate to new life. It's the journey and the destination. As Christians…

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Pilgrim Adventure

Monday 18th February 2019
Carole Hodgkins

The hills of grey-blue erstwhile were green, The pilgrims walked onwards through heather's mauve screen. Some changed, some silent - over rocks and bog plough While their spirit soars heavenward knowing that Heaven is now! Ragged robin and orchid bring joy to the eye, Mosses, so green and springy 'neath our feet lie. The deer on the hillside, the stags on the brow, Convince me more strongly Heaven is now! The mysterious water hides Neptune's dark world, The whale and the o er glide 'neath ripples froth-furled. The Lord shares our travail, this I avow, And His glory in flowers and His people reveals - Heaven is now! Carole travelled for the first time with Pilgrim Adventure in 1996. The above was written on the island of…

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