Image by Jeremy Boley

Preparing for Pilgrimage

There are various things you need to be aware before the pilgrimage, from what you should bring, what you should expect, and most of all how you can perpare spiritually.

What to expect

It is important that every pilgrim is ready to face what awaits them on pilgrimage, so hear are a list of things to expect on the Brecbannoch pilgrimage:

  1. Some days can consist of up to 18 miles of walking

  2. Very basic foods will be provided to pilgrims

  3. Possibility of wet and windy conditions (but hopefully St Columba will look after us!)

  4. Music - it helps some people distract themselves from the pain

  5. Abundant graces and new friendships

The difficulty level of the pilgrimage is MEDIUM. Please ensure that you are fit enough to undertake 18 miles of walking a day before the pilgrimage.

Our team will be on hand if anyone is unable to continue the pilgrimage, should the worst comes to the worst.

The pilgrimage will be organised into "Chapters", which will be a group of pilgrims from that area in Scotland. Ideally, if possible each chapter should bring a member of the clergy as their chaplain too. These groups ensure some local conviviality and make sure that everyone is looking out for each other.  If you wish to become a Chapter leader, click here.

Spiritual preparation for the pilgrimage is important. Closer to the event we will be encouraging pilgrims to undertake a novena to St Columba, which will end when we arrive on Iona on the 13th and be prayed at the conclusion of our Votive Mass of St Columba.

Meantime, we encourage everyone to consider not only the intentions of the Church in Scotland, but also we hope that each of us will bring a unique special intention of their own.

Spiritual Preparation

Pilgrim Chapters

What to Bring

A non-exhaustive list of things to remember:

  • A sleeping bag

  • A tent

  • A roll mat

  • Clothing/toiletries/general personal necessities

  • A food supply for energy throughout the day (sweets, crisps)

  • Torch

  • A water container (that you can walk with)

  • Hiking Boots

  • Waterproof jacket

  • Rosary beads

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Image by William Gibson

What is not included

Please note that some things are not included in the price of the pilgrimage, because it is easier for pilgrims to organise these themselves:

  • Accommodation in Oban on the evening before the pilgrimage (10th June 2022)

  • Dinner on arrival in Iona

  • Personal Camping Equipment