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Running pilgrimage: Dunfermline to Glasgow Cathedral, following in the Footsteps of St Mungo
13 January, 2019 @ 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm UTC+0
Dunfermline to Glasgow Cathedral on St Mungo’s Day – following in St Mungo’s footsteps and running pilgrimages in aid of a new Embrace the Middle East project working with returning refugees and IDPs in northern Iraq.
The running fundraiser was both a wacky idea Mark had on a particular run around Aberdeenshire in late spring, and the product of lots of threads finally coming together. Having studied for his PhD in the Middle East and hearing Christians talk of the struggles of their kin – often literal kin- in northern Iraq, Mark over time became aware of the slow trickle of Iraqis returning to their homes in the north since the end of Daesh control, and was humbled by their courage and by their commitment to going home.
Over time Mark began to wonder also whether it might be possible to run pilgrimage routes in Scotland and the north of England, whose landscapes are inscribed with the legacy of its ancient saints and martyrs, both as a way of honouring that legacy and as a way of coming to understand better what it means to live out of that legacy.
And then, on a spring run, as Mark ran through familiar countryside, he felt some shadow of the pain of displacement, some new level of empathy with my Middle Eastern friends, born of just how safe, free and at home he felt running around Aberdeenshire. The contrast was stark: what it must be to be forced out of an environment you call home, out of the sanctuary of places that should be safe and familiar but have become hostile and poisonous.
Embrace’s work is led by Middle Eastern Christians who are committed to their localities, even when the going gets tough. There is no commitment more striking than that of these returnees who have endured and lost so much, and yet who dare to remain steadfast. When it became clear that Embrace would be working with these returnees in 2019, it just made sense to connect doing these pilgrimages with that new expression of our mission.
Download the run details, here: Running Pilgrimage – Run details
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