Pluscarden Abbey as we know it today owes its foundation to King Alexander II of Scotland in the year 1230. At the same time grants were made to two other sister houses, Beauly in Ross, and Ardchattan in Argyll. The community that served these churches was one of Valliscaulians, a little-known order that shared some of the strictness of the Carthusian discipline with the spirit of fellowship that existed among the Benedictines, and only at these three places was this order represented in Scotland or England. The parent house in France, the Priory of Vallis Caulium, had been founded just over thirty years earlier and the original brethren from France must surely have found in Pluscarden, an echo of their own situation, lying in a deeply wooded valley in Burgundy, nestling at the foot of a steep and densely forested hill. In fact an old name for the Pluscarden valley, the Kail Glen, is nothing more than a translation into Scots of the French Val des Choux or the Latin Vallis Caulium”
The pilgrimage of those early Valliscaulian Monks from Burgundy to Pluscarden will be repeated from 5 June to 3 September 2017 and will cover a distance of approximately 1300 miles. It will be broken down into 12 legs of 100 miles and a final leg of 80 miles. Each leg, less the final leg, will have a ceiling of 40 participants, will take six days, Monday to Saturday inclusive, and Sunday will be a day of rest, worship and changeover of participants and sponsors. The final leg will have 60 participants, will cover 80 miles over 5 days arriving on the Friday, and leading to a final weekend of worship and celebration. Each participant, on each leg, must achieve a minimum sponsorship of £1230. The money raised will go towards the £5 million required to complete the Pluscarden Abbey South Range Project. A stone from the original abbey will be carried throughout the pilgrimage and will constitute the foundation stone of the new South Range.
Details of the South Range Project, the pilgrimage and how to apply for this unique event are at: www.appealpluscardenabbey.org.uk
Applications will be treated on a first come first served basis
Closing Date for Applications 31st December 2016