… and claim your official Completion certificate!
We’re proud to announce our new, official Cowal Pilgrimage completion certificate. There are a few different ways of qualifying for this (more on that below) but once you’ve met the requirements and shown us evidence, we will send it to you either by post or as a .pdf file that you can print for yourself (your choice).
How do I Qualify?
There are two main ways to qualify for this completion certificate. The first is by walking or cycling any one of the three versions of The Cowal Pilgrimage as described elsewhere on our site, and sending evidence that you have done so. The second is by visiting all of the Places For Pilgrims listed on this website. This latter method is method is suitable for those who can’t complete the whole pilgrimage on foot and need to used motorised transport for some or all of the journeys between the pilgrim sites.
The second method will result in slightly different wording on the certificate. It will say “Name Surname has successfully visited all of the sites on The Cowal Pilgrimage”, rather than “successfully completed The Cowal Pilgrimage”. All of these methods qualify as having completed the pilgrimage; the wording is just to differentiate between making pilgrimage to each and every site in your own way, or making use of our trails and suggested itineraries.
Of course, the ultimate way to qualify would be to walk all five of the pilgrim loops named after saints, because that way you’ll have visited all of the sites and walked every single mile of the available pilgrim trails in Cowal! This is a really good way to earn your certificate without having to travel the whole of Cowal in one trip. You can come and do a different loop every time you visit. If it takes you 5 weeks or 5 years to collect all your stamps, it doesn’t matter; you still qualify!
What Evidence Do I Need?
There are two main ways that you can provide evidence of having completed the pilgrimage. The first is by posting a picture of your fully stamped Pilgrim Passport to your social media accounts and tagging us in it (we’re on Facebook and Instagram), then messaging us with the name you’d like on your certificate and the address we should send it to. Of course, to respect your privacy, you can simply email or message us a picture of your stamped passport without posting to your socials. But naturally we’d prefer it if you could mention us and tag us on those platforms as it helps raise our profile and spread the word!
Which brings us to the second method. This is particularly useful for those who want to prove that they have walked the entire route (as opposed to having simply visited each site), as it involves taking a selfie/group shot at each leg of the pilgrimage as well as at each site. Upload the photos to your social media channels and tag us in them with the hashtag #TheCowalPilgrimage. Once you’ve done that, don’t forget to send a message or email with the name you’d like on your certificate and the address we should send it to.
If you can include a location tag as well, even better! Obviously we’re looking to get as much exposure for Cowal and the Cowal Pilgrimage as possible, and as many people walking the trails as we can. So we’d prefer you to use this second method. But we have no problem if you choose to go old-school and use the physical passport. And don’t worry, if you’re using the social media method, you can still pick up a passport and collect the stamps so that you have your own physical keepsake to store or display alongside your certificate.
Of course, there are other ways you can provide evidence. If you choose to make a vlog or blog and upload it to your own website, or to make a video diary for YouTube, or even a series of TikTok posts that’s fine. Unlike our sacred sites, the technology is always changing! As long as you can show us you’ve walked all the trails and/or visited all the sites, we will be happy to send you a certificate.
Where Do I Get A Pilgrim Passport From?
You can either download the template from our website and print at home, or pick up a passport from one of the six active churches on the Cowal pilgrim routes. Those are:
- 1 – Kilmorich Church in Cairndow
- 2 – The Church of the Three Brethren in Lochgoilhead
- 3 – Kilmaglash Church in Strachur
- 4 – Historic Kilmun (Church) in Kilmun
- 5 – Kilmodan Chapel in Glendaruel
- 6 – Kilfinan Church in Kilfinan
They’re designed to fit on a side of A4 for easy printing, and can be folded into thirds for ease of transport. The copies you find in the churches will have title on the ‘front’ third and our logo on the ‘inner’ third. This template will also be provided should you wish to print at home, though it is not necessary to count as evidence.
The Pilgrim Passports and the stamps to record where you have visited will be available inside the six active churches, either near the entrance or near the visitor book. We encourage you to sign the visitor books as well as stamp your passport. This lets the local congregation know that their beloved church is valued by people from all over! As there are only six locations with stamps, you’ll need to wait until you reach one of these churches to collect stamps for the other sites you’ve visited.
Either download and print our Pilgrim Passport, or collect one from one of the six active churches mentioned above. Collect stamps as you travel, to record where you’ve visited. Take photos at each site and on the trail, and upload them to your social media channels making sure to tag Faith in Cowal and use #TheCowalPilgrimage hashtags.
When you’ve completed the pilgrimage, photograph your fully stamped passport, or link us to the evidence you’ve created on social media etc. Finally, don’t forget to send a message or email with the name you’d like on your certificate and the address we should send it to.
Once we’ve received your message, checked your evidence and confirmed your details, we’ll send out the beautiful completion certificate so that you have an official keepsake from your time on the Faith in Cowal pilgrim trails.