On Sunday 27th August 2012 around 60 pilgrims from Callander Kirk set out immediately after the 11.15 service to walk, cycle or lift-share the 8 or so miles to Trossachs Church. Walkers and cyclists met up at two points (on the shores of Loch Venacher and in the forest at the head of the Loch) for times of short reflection, led by Robert. At Trossachs we were greeted by lovely fiddle tunes drifting out of the church and, after placing the stones we had collected and decorated on our journey on a simple carin, we processed into the church following a cross made from fallen branches gathered on the way.

During the service at Trossachs we focused on giving thanks and praise for the beauty of creation we had seen on our journey, asked for forgiveness for the harm done and guidance in caring better for creation. We sang unaccompanied and listened to more fiddle music. Then it was out into the sun, wind and eventually rain to enjoy a picnic tea with plenty of delicious home baking!

Thanks to everyone who helped and took part!

The Trossachs Pilgrimage

A reflection

Take your time. Reflect. Your thoughts are what matters, not these words. What is God saying to you? If there are several of you together, take turns to read, and then share you thoughts with each other.

Read Psalm 24 :-

The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof,

the world and those who dwell therein,

for he has founded it upon the seas

and established it upon the rivers.

Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?

And who shall stand in his holy place?

He who has clean hands and a pure heart,

who does not lift up his soul to what is false

and does not swear deceitfully.

He will receive blessing from the Lord

and righteousness from the God of his salvation.

Such is the generation of those who seek him,

who seek the face of the God of Jacob.

Lift up your heads, O gates!

And be lifted up, O ancient doors,

that the King of glory may come in.

Who is this King of glory?

The Lord, strong and mighty,

the Lord, mighty in battle!

Lift up your heads, O gates!

And lift them up, O ancient doors,

that the King of glory may come in.

Who is this King of glory?

The Lord of hosts,

he is the King of glory!


Look around you, at the sky, the hills, the lochs, the trees.

The earth is the Lord's … he has founded it upon the seas.

Imagine God forming this beautiful scenery by a word.

Imagine the sun and stars flashing out of God's hands.

Imagine the artist God moulding the valleys and pouring out the lochs from the palm of his hand.

Imagine you are the first people to cross this hill and see this view. Look at it afresh. What is the most wonderful part of it?

Imagine you are among the Celtic monks bringing the Gospel to this country for the first time. Does it look different? What do you feel?

'The seas' stand for the primaeval chaos from which God brought order. He made it good – it matched his vision.

We have changed the scenery God made. What is good, what is bad?

Imagine God looking over you shoulder with you. What does he see?

Come see his hands and his feet, the scars that speak of sacrifice, hands that flung stars into space to cruel nails surrendered

The damage we do to ourselves, each other, the planet … these are hammer blows on the hands of Christ.

Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord, or stand in his holy place?

Those who have clean hands and pure hearts …

Read Revelation 15.2-5 :-

And I saw what appeared to be a sea of glass mingled with fire—and also those who had conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name, standing beside the sea of glass with harps of God in their hands. And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying,

“Great and amazing are your deeds, O Lord God the Almighty!

Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations!

Who will not fear, O Lord,  and glorify your name?

For you alone are holy.

All nations will come and worship you,

for your righteous acts have been revealed.”

After this I looked, and the sanctuary of the tent of witness in heaven was opened …

Reflect :-

“You alone are holy.”  

There is only one whose hands are clean, only one who can ascend the Hill of the Lord,or stand in his Holy Place.

We recognise that he is the only one who opens the Temple of Heaven, and invites us to join him in his Holy Place.

We cannot climb the Hill of the Lord in our own virtue or strength, but only by his invitation.

A Prayer :-

Almighty God, Creator of all things,

we praise you for the majesty and the detail of your work.

We glorify you for these hills and glens – our home.

We honour you for their beauty and fruitfulness – our harvests.

We bless you for those who live here – our neighbours.

We thank you for those before us who loved these hills.

We thank you for those before us who loved the people of these glens.

Especially we thank you for those who brought the Gospel,

the good news of your love shown in Jesus Christ.

We give you praise and thanks, that by that grace we are your children.

We acknowledge the damage we have done to your handiwork,

by human greed, pride and carelessness.

We confess our own neglect of your creation.

We ask forgiveness, Father, for our heavy footprints,

our dirty handprints, our destructive words.

Come, Lord Jesus Christ, Lamb of God our Saviour, renew your children,

lead us in paths of truth and righteousness,

reclaim your creation, and complete your new creation.

Come, Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God,

Reign for ever and ever.


The Trossachs Pilgrimage and Picnic 2013

On Sunday 27th August 2012