Route: Follow the West Island Way markers through the woodland, past the communty orchard to Kilchattan Bay. Stay on the path behind the houses until it turns to the right and heads up steps onto Suidhe Hill – Suidhe Chattan. Walk to St Blane’s.
Start point coordinates: 55.75409, -5.0431
Distance: 2.8 km
Terrain: The path to Kilchattan Bay is flat but often wet through the woodlands. Once it turns to climb Suidhe hill then the route becomes a rough path. You will climb 100 metres to the shoulder of the hill.
As you travel
You are travelling in the land of St Catán. All travel requires discipline and some forethought. To travel unprepared isn’t wise and yet we do, regularly. How often have you decided to do something without really thinking it through?
St Catán is described in the 19th century Martyrology of Gorman as: Catán trednach tennócc – Catán the abstinent, stern warrior. This suggests St Catán had a heightened sense of self-discipline which, it seems, he was keen to pass onto St Blane.
St Catán is living on Bute when Blane returns to the island of his birth after seven years of study under Comgall and Kenneth in Ireland. He instructs Blane, trains him in morals, and ordains him to the priesthood.
This route is perhaps the most demanding and unpredictable. The woodland sections can give you a beautiful, birdsong-filled moment or a muddy slog through dripping trees. The steep hill walk may reward with fantastic views over the Clyde or thick cloud and rain will obscure everything. And yet at the end of the route, and no matter what the weather has brought to you, the peace of St Blane is always there when you arrive.
Think as you go
St Catán was known as being disciplined – how should we demonstrate that today? All journeys are better with a guide to show us the best way through – how often do we try to travel alone?
Here’s a reading from the time of the early church. A time when Peter was actively encouraging people to follow the way of Jesus. This was the response of those people to hearing the news.
Acts 2:42 (CSBBible)
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer.