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28 - 30 JULY, 2017

It was a great privilege and honour as Parish Priest of the Orkney archipelago to welcome, on behalf of myself and the parishioners, all the Bishops of Scotland, the Bishop of Oslo, the Bishop of Copenhagen, an auxiliary Bishop from Westminster, visiting clergy and pilgrims from far and wide who came to Orkney to take part in the Aberdeen Diocesan Pilgrimage commemorating the 900th anniversary of the martyrdom of St. Magnus.

The pilgrimage was a great success and I was very proud of all our parishioners who volunteered in many different ways and helped to make the pilgrimage such a remarkable occasion. It would be impossible to list everyone who was involved as there were so many but I would like to mention particularly certain people and in doing so I hope not to offend others who are not mentioned. I was especially proud of the children of the Parish in their various roles as servers, stewards, and those who took part in the Offertory Procession at the Mass in St. Magnus Cathedral. My sincere thanks go to them all. Particular thanks must also go to Frances Drever who did a magnificent job in helping to organise it all and encouraging so many volunteers to help. Thanks also to Joyce Webster (Aberdeen) who worked along with Frances and helped organise things from the Aberdeen end! Thanks too to George Brand (Aberdeen) and the Aberdeen Diocesan Choir, along with Heather Rendall (the cathedral organist), who helped make the Mass in the Cathedral such an uplifting and unforgettable experience.

I must thank too all those within the wider community of Orkney who showed nothing but kindness, patience and support. Particular thanks must go to Orkney Islands Council for the use of the Cathedral, the Minister, Kirk Session and Congregation for accommodating the Mass in the Cathedral. Also the people of Egilsay and Birsay. So many of you were involved in one way or another so please forgive me for not mentioning you all by name – you know who you are!

The Friday talks and the pilgrimages to Egilsay and Birsay were both very memorable but undoubtedly what stood out way above everything else was the Mass in St. Magnus Cathedral on the Sunday. I totally agree with Bishop Hugh and cannot add any more to what he had to say ...

“The highlight was Sunday’s Mass in Kirkwall Cathedral, by kind permission of Orkney Islands Council and the Minister, Kirk Session and Congregation of St Magnus’s Cathedral. The occasion was historic, with bishops from Scotland, Denmark, Norway and England – the first time there had been such a gathering of bishops in Orkney. The Cathedral was full, with the Lord Lieutenant, representatives of the Council and of several Christian denominations as well as pilgrims and visitors in attendance. The music, words and movement of the liturgy conspired with the Norman setting of Kirkwall’s Cathedral to lift spirits, recall St Magnus’ noble offering of his life for peace, and the life-giving fruits of peace, healing and creativity that have flowed from it. It was good to be reminded of the Christian inspiration of our culture.”

St. Magnus pray for us, now and always.

Images from the Pilgrimage
taken by various people (including S. Maguire, F. Flett-Hollinrake, L. Burgher, H. Williams)

Bishops and Priests

Pilgimage to Egilsay

Pilgrimage to Birsay

Mass in St Magnus Cathedral

Web Links

Aberdeen Diocesan Website : Magnus Moments, Bishop Hugh's reflection, BBC Report, A Pilgrim's Diary, A Pilgrim's Diary (Friday), A Pilgrim's Diary (Saturday - Egilsay), A Pilgrim's Diary (Saturday - Birsay), A Pilgrim's Diary (Sunday)

Video of Cathedral Mass - (Sancta Familia Media) : www.youtube.com/watch?v=niOUKURrZMk

Egilsay Video (Sancta Familia Media) : www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePDx2Z_H9wo

BBC News : www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-40771046

Radio Orkney : www.soundcloud.com/radio-orkney/around-orkney-31st-july-2017 (from 7 mins to 11:30 mins)

Radio Orkney Photos: www.facebook.com/pg/radioorkney/photos/?tab=album&album_id=10154109333967168

Homily at Cathedral (Bishop Hugh) : www.rcda.scot/archives/9698

Pilgrim Guides

Pilgrim Guide : view / download

To Be A Pilgrim : view / download

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A parish of the RC Diocese of Aberdeen Charitable Trust, a registered Scottish Charity, number SC 005122
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