Pilgrims Journey Together for First Camino de Glendalough
The first Camino de Glendalough took place in bright crisp conditions yesterday (Sunday November 6). People from all over Dublin and Glendalough came to take part and some pilgrims came from as far afield as Waterford. A hardy group of about 25 people undertook the full camino along the 30 kilometre St Kevin’s Way. Many more walked the section of St Kevin’s Way from the Wicklow Gap to Glendalough while others undertook shorter walks around the Green Road in Glendalough and the Monastic City.
Whatever distance they walked, pilgrims were encouraged to reflect on their lives and put aside the usual business of day–to–day living. The booklet produced to accompany the camino reminded them that every pilgrim undertakes two journeys – a physical journey containing challenge, adventure and some degree of discomfort but also an inner journey or quest for meaning and understanding and a reawakening of the spirit within.
Those completing the full Camino de Glendalough were presented with a special commemorative badge. All pilgrims were given Come&C wristbands. Those who got the bus from St John’s Church in Laragh were provided with water and fruit for their journey but the parish also provided hospitality for the visitors..
The day began with services taking place simultaneously at either end of St Kevin’s Way, in St Kevin’s Church in Hollywood and St John’s Church in Laragh. The camino concluded with a short service of thanksgiving at the Upper Lake in Glendalough led by Archdeacon Ricky Rountree, the Revd Leonard Ruddock and the Revd Brian O’Reilly, who organised the camino. Pilgrims gathered in the stone Caher near the lakeshore for prayers and a reading [Mark 4: 35–41]. The Caher is likely to be have been used as a station for those on pilgrimage across the mountains to the remains of St Kevin’s monastery.
Archbishop Michael Jackson observed that many people could be part of the same event and yet have different experiences of it. They are held together by faith and relationship. “I imagine many of you had similar experiences of today – you walked together but each will bring something different away with you,” he said. “This is the first official pilgrimage of Dublin & Glendalough 800 and I hope you will venture with us in the future.”
The idea for the camino arose from the Come&C project and it is intertwined with the Dublin & Glendalough 800 commemorations. It is hoped that people will continue to undertake the Camino de Glendalough either individually or as part of groups. The special booklet produced to accompany the camino can be downloaded at from the Come&C page of the Dublin & Glendalough website at
https://dublin.anglican.org/Come-and-C . There are plans to hold regular gatherings and pilgrimages from St John’s Church, Laragh and details will be available in the new year.
Top – Gathering at the shores of the Upper Lake in Glendalough for a short service at the end of the Camino de Glendalough.
Bottom – Some of the pilgrims who walked the full Camino from Hollywood to Glendalough. (Photo courtesy of Delta Omicron)