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For many years Papa Stour has been a place where Christians of different denominations have come on retreat or as part of a personal pilgrimage.  

They have come on their own, in small groups, young and older age groups, or on parish days. 

They have come for the day, weekend or weeks. 

The retreats have been organised and led, (by the people who choose to come) or silent and seeking. 

Papa Stour, with its early Celtic Christian heritage is a ‘thin’ place, and those who seek, find.  

In his programme ‘Scotland’s Sacred Islands’ Ben Fogle visited Papa to experience its grace-filled spiritual atmosphere for himself. 

It is hoped that once the Covid situation improves, Papa Stour will continue to develop this aspect of island life, particularly when the Kirk Development Project is up and running.  

Papa is also represented on a Shetland Pilgrimage Group, which hopes to co-ordinate all aspects of pilgrimage in Shetland. 

If you would like to come to Papa and need help organising or for more information about pilgrimage and retreats, contact Hilde Bardell

Papa Stour Advent Retreat Day, 5th December 2018 

Pilgrimage to Papa Stour by Ladies from the Baptist Kirk - August 2021

Early on a bright August morning a dozen ladies from Lerwick Baptist Church gathered at West Burrafirth for a day trip into Papa Stour.  There was a bit of a cool wind blowing but they are a hardy lot!

On arrival we warmed ourselves up with hot tea and coffee and scrumptious home bakes in the ferry waiting room.

Braving a cool wind and cloudy skies we took a walk down to the pier for a history lesson followed by a stop along the road for another history lesson.

Our next stop was at the site of the stofa. Here the ladies heard a potted history of the site and the partial reconstruction of the stofa as a community project in 2007/ 8.

From the Stofa the ladies wandered along the road to the 200 year old Papa Stour Kirk where they learned about the history of the building and had a good scout around ahead of a service they were to lead later in the day.

And then up to the school where the Ladies enjoyed Cullen Skink and homemade scones washed down by hot tea provided by two long term island residents.

In the middle of the afternoon the Ladies returned to the Kirk for a time of worship to Almighty God. Accompanied by guitar and accordion they ‘raised the roof’ as they sang with gusto a selection of old and well known hymns. There was a short ‘preach’ based on Jesus calming the storm followed by a wonderful time of open prayer.


After tidying everything away the Ladies went back to the school where thy feasted on bacon and sausage rolls before heading for the ferry and home. It had been a wonderful day in Papa Stour.

Catherine Corbett

Ruth Dale

Anna Forbes

Jane Puckey




Young peoples pilgrimage to Papa Stour April 2019

'Young person's weekend retreat April 2019. Enjoying all that Papa has to offer for mind, body and spirit.'




































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