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He was the sparring partner of St Columba, but he had the advantage of being both a Gaelic and a Pictish speaker which allowed him the more favourable position of communicating with ease with the whole population of Northern Scotland.

In the North East he is associated with the founding of churches at Clatt, Migvie and Tarland. He is said to have had a muinntir (community) at Clova near Lumsden. There is also on the south side of the Tap O’ Noth a stone called St Moluag’s Chair. Tradition claimed that he died in 592 AD and was buried at Rosemarkie. It is for these reasons that the walk is following a particular route.

At one point in my early ministry I served as priest at the great church of Ness in Lewis, An Teampuil Mor which was dedicated to St Moluag.

All along the way I am being assisted by Sea Cadets from the Aberdeen, Moray, Inverness, Lochaber and Oban Units. They will ferry me across the appropriate stretches of water. In his journeying Moluag would have used water as a means of transport. Meeting Sea Cadets will give me opportunity of dialoguing with young people. I am the Northern Area Padre for the Sea Cadets and the walk will give me chance to talk with the youngsters in the various units across the North. At one point, in Lochaber I shall be blessing new boats!

I am grateful to my walking companion Steven Boon, who is a member of the Vestry at St Margaret’s and also a great source of enthusiasm.

When we arrive in Lismore, where the mission of St Moluag in Scotland began, we shall be met by Niall, Coarb of St Moluag, who holds the crozier of St Moluag as the symbol of his office. Niall will be giving us a lift back to Aberdeen, and the crozier will be at St Margaret’s (10.30am) and also St Andrew’s Cathedral (6.30pm) on Sunday the 18th of May.

In addition the Rev’d Kate Gibson has painted an icon of St Moluag, which will be carried in procession at the Cathedral by Steven, and Bill Brown has translated a Latin office hymn to St Moluag from the Aberdeen Breviary and set it to music. You will find articles by Niall, Kate and Bill in this news release.

Last, but not least the whole idea is to raise awareness about St Andrew’s Cathedral and the need for its restoration. This building is unique and very much conveys the Arts and Crafts Movement of the Early 20th Century. Sir Ninian Comper took the best designs from Old Aberdeen and recreated them in the new redesigned Cathedral in King Street. He created an architectural and liturgical gem full of theological and sacramental symbolism, which must be preserved for future generations. The building very much makes a statement about communicating the faith in our contemporary world.

Comper believed that, as did his friend the Doyen of Féycamp Abbey in Normandy, that ‘a church should pray of itself’. The Cathedral possesses that. Others have to experience that. Let the building speak, but above all pray.

Please give generously to this appeal. You too can walk with me in the in the steps of Moluag by assisting me in this project. All donations will be gratefully received.

Fr. Emsley


To find out more information about the walk | please click here