Beechworth has a rich history of Celtic influence and culture. The discovery of gold at Beechworth in 1852 brought many Irish miners to the area. Every November, the regional Victoria town hosts a popular three-day festival celebrating its Celtic roots.
Beechworth Uniting Church has been running an annual Celtic pilgrimage for the past 14 years. The contemplative walk takes place immediately after the festival and is open to people of all faith traditions. The Celtic Pilgrimage was recognised with an honourable mention in the Synod Ecumenical Awards last year.
Participants are encouraged to reflect on Christian, Indigenous and Celtic spirituality as they make their way through bushland, along the rail trail, from Wandiligong to Beechworth.
Rev Caro Field is one of the organisers of the event. She said the pilgrimage has a strong emphasis on hospitality, a central element of Celtic Christianity.
“We have many participants who return year after year, although each year we also have new walkers,” she said.
“There is this interesting mix of walkers who are old hands delighted to catch up with their friends from past years, but also ensuring that new people are made welcome and helped to feel part of the group too.”
This year, the pilgrimage will take place from 8-13 November. The theme for the 2015 pilgrimage will be ‘Celtic Christianity – living, following, and travelling’.
If you would like to join the pilgrimage this year contact Don Pope on (03) 5728 2835, or email firstname.lastname@example.org