Organisers of an annual event in Fife which pays tribute to one of Scotland’s most important women say they are already looking forward to 2021, despite the disappointment of this year’s activities being shelved.
The St Margaret’s Pilgrimage has seen hundreds of people from across the country drawn to Dunfermline for a range of events and 2020 was to be no different, with pilgrims expected to arrive in the historic Fife town on June 7 for the fifth event of its kind.
The event commemorates the life and impact of Margaret, an 11th century Scottish queen who introduced the ferry crossing between Edinburgh and Fife to allow pilgrims to travel to St Andrews, and attracts people of all faiths from far and wide.
Father Chris Heenan of St Margaret’s Memorial Church in the town said he was saddened the 2020 event will not take place but the plan is to make the 2021 one something special.
“We’re disappointed but not surprised to have had to cancel the event.
“But we’re staying positive – our team of organisers will use this time to channel their energy and enthusiasm into putting together a fantastic programme for 2021.
“In the meantime, we can ask for the intercession of St Margaret as we pray for an end to the coronavirus pandemic, particularly in Scotland, where she is our patron saint.
“We pray especially for those who have lost loved ones to Covid-19 at this time. May they rest in peace.”
The event was not just about worship, as it also saw guides from Discover Dunfermline Tours taking people to visit local sites associated with St Margaret.
That included a visit to St Margaret’s shrine at the east end of Dunfermline Abbey, the base of Malcolm’s Tower, where Margaret and the royal household lived, and St Margaret’s Cave, which was her private place for prayer.
Archbishop Leo Cushley, Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, said: “St Margaret’s Pilgrimage has become a key occasion for many people Scotland to come together and thank God for the impact this wonderful saint continues to have through her example of faith, charity and leadership.
“I look forward to being in Dunfermline for its return in 2021.”
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