Taking part in the Edinburgh Passion Walk
Pilgrims to retrace Jesus' steps through the streets of Edinburgh
Christians will be taking to the streets of Edinburgh on Good Friday to take part in the Passion Walk. Their journey will take them along a route through the streets of the city that will enable them to reflect on Jesus' Easter journey through the streets of Jerusalem. The Passion Walk is an individual pilgrimage through the events of Good Friday, with reflective and imaginative material in a printed or audio guide.
The Passion Walk was developed in Edinburgh in 2012 by writer and journalist Susan Mansfield and grew from an interest in the role walking can play in people's spiritual lives. Many groups and individuals who appreciate contemplative spirituality, particularly the Ignatian tradition (the spirituality of St Ignatius Loyola) have supported the initiative, including Father Gero McLoughlin SJ, Promoter of Ignatian Spirituality for the British Jesuits.
'Both pilgrimage and meditative walking have long had a place in a variety of faith traditions,' explains Susan Mansfield. 'In the 21st century, we walk to clear our heads, to blow away the cobwebs and to seek a different perspective. To begin to contemplate the mystery of God, we must first subdue the constant stream of thoughts, distractions and worries which assail us in a busy world. Walking, paradoxically, helps us to be still.'
Walkers will gather at Greyfriars Kirk, George IV Bridge on Friday 29 March (Good Friday) between 11am and1pm, and also on Saturday 30 March between 10am and 12 noon. This year, there will be two routes to choose from: the Original Route of about four miles, which includes a rather steep ascent, and the Shorter Route of 1-2miles, for those who would prefer a less physically demanding journey. Both routes will end at the same place, about a mile to the south of Greyfriars, close to public transport, where there will be warmth, refreshments and a chance to mark the end of the journey.
'As was the case in Jesus' day, the ongoing life of a busy city becomes the backdrop for the events of the story,' says Susan. 'Pausing to reflect at certain key locations, you may discover the story of Christ's Passion coming alive in a new way.'
The Passion Walk is a non-profit project; but for those wishing to take part in it, there will be a charge of �7 (�5 unwaged) per person, payable at the starting point, to defray the costs of producing materials. It will be necessary to register in advance on www.passionwalk.org/index.html (link below) or by email on firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, phone on 07879 014344.
Some of the comments from people who took part in the Passion Walk last year:
'A wonderful, moving experience from start to finish.'
'Relating the story to the city where I live has made the reality of the story come alive.'
'It hallowed my city, I felt that I was following in the footsteps of Jesus who had come to Edinburgh.'
'I wouldn't have missed it for the world.'