Throughout this year we’ll be developing pilgrimage resources for the St Magnus Way. The intention is to provide a wide range of resources covering everything from historical information to contemporary prayers. Some resources have been commissioned specially, some are from existing literature about Magnus, whilst others are drawn from the rich traditions of pilgrimage elsewhere.


For each section of the pilgrimage there is an associated theme relating to that part of the journey.


Our theme for the first stage of the journey from Evie to Birsay is loss– reflecting on the death of Magnus, and our own stories and experience of loss.


Moving from Birsay to Dounby we consider growth – reflecting on the growth of the cult of Magnus in the years following his death and in the shifting base of power from West to East in Orkney, as well as in our own stories of growth.


Continuing on from Dounby to Finstown our theme is change - reflecting on the changing landscape and ways of life over the centuries as well as our own often conflicting attitudes to change as something both welcomed and feared.


As we move over the hill from Finstown to Orphir we consider forgiveness - whether Hakon was sorry for the murder of Magnus, and our own need to both receive and extend forgiveness.


The final stage from Orphir to Kirkwall our theme is hospitality - reflecting on the place of feasting in the medieval world and our own mealtime traditions as well as the place of welcome afforded Magnus in Kirkwall, and the reception we ourselves anticipate.


The resources are categorised to make accessing the very different kinds of resource a bit easier.

These are:

  • Advice → resources for what you need to walk the route
  • Historical ← resources describing the landscape, buildings and events from the time of Magnus as well as before and after him.
  • Landscape ↓ resources about the contemporary landscape, including wildlife and navigation
  • Reflective →← resources that encourage personal reflection on events and themes
  • Engagement ←→ resources that help stimulate engagement with issues and problems in the wider world
  • Response ↑ resources that are a response to the themes and experiences of the St Magnus Way.
  • Prayer o resources that support conversation with God

This project is being part financed by the Scottish Government and the European Community Orkney LEADER 2014 – 2020 Programme