Pilgrimpace's Blog

cistercian way photos 1
September 18, 2016, 11:56 am
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I’ll post some photos and reflections on the beginning of the Pilgrimage (which I need to come up with a new name for as I sit here and nurse my knee) over the next few days.


A group of us set off from Llanfair Uniting Church on the first day into the weather.  As we climbed into the rain and cloud, I was glad I had company for this first Stage, rather than being waved off.  My camera was safely tucked away inside a dry bag, but Joy took these photos:




Most people sensibly dropped out after a few miles at Ton Pentre.  The weather got worse as Maddy and I climbed the next ridge.  Visibility was down to a few yards, water often over the top of my boots.  We were sensible and glad to get into ‘John’s Taxi’ and go home for the night to get dry and warm and eat a hot meal.

I set off for Margam Abbey the next morning and could look back at where I had been.  This time, I could see it


I climbed the hill in front, following the ancient trackways and was greeted by this view


The sea, the ancient hills, the Port Talbot Steelworks.

This is important and I shall reflect on this more.  One of the vital things for me about good pilgrimage routes is that they take us through the urban as well as the rural; they are not an escape from life but a journey more deeply into it.  I spent quite a chunk of that day walking within sight of Port Talbot and it was important to pray for the people there, with their livings so much under threat and uncertainty, to pray for economic justice in our country.  At Margam Abbey, I heard to from farming families about how worried they were about the harvest in a pattern of weather that threatened it.


3 Comments so far
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Very much agree about encompassing the urban as well as the rural, the ordinary as well as the picturesque. And pilgrimage as a journey into life, as a seamless part of it, rather than as an escape, or something tacked on.


Comment by The Solitary Walker

Thanks Robert. Very helpful. (Although I would have been walking now through very quiet and beautiful parts of West Wales …)

Comment by pilgrimpace

[…] hand … our planned walk from Penrhys nearly drowned the participants: some amazing photos at https://pilgrimpace.wordpress.com/2016/09/18/cistercian-way-photos-1/ . And Andy Delmege, who had planned to walk the whole route as a sabbatical this autumn, has […]

Pingback by Meetings, mist and mud | Cistercian Way

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