Peace pilgrimage will mark 30th anniversary of Lockerbie bombing

Commemorations of the 30th anniversary of the Lockerbie terrorist attack are to include a 'Walk of Peace' pilgrimage and a church service.

Pan Am Flight 103 exploded 31,000 feet over Lockerbie on December 21, 1988 in an attack that claimed the lives of 270 people. Of those, 259 were aboard the aircraft, while another 11 were killed on the ground.

The Walk of Peace will take place on December 22 when scores of people are expected to silently climb Burnswark, an ancient and dramatic landmark south east of the Dumfries and Galloway town.

Very Rev Dr Alan McDonald, a former Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland who has family links to the area, is taking part and said he hoped that a powerful message of peace and hope would be spread across the world.

The memorial at Dryfesdale Cemetery, near Lockerbie, with the names of the dead.Stara Blazkova/Wikipedia

He is also leading a special remembrance service at Tundergarth Parish Church on December 21.

The building, which has a Book of Remembrance, is close to where the nose cone of the jet blown up by a terrorist bomb came to rest.

McDonald said: 'The people who have been organising this service, and the walk up a neighbouring hill the next day, wanted something that would focus on hope and the future.

'We have put together a service with the theme 'The Pilgrimage to Peace'.

'Hopefully, it will link together with the physical pilgrimage that will take place the next day.

'We will seek hope and peace for all on December 21-22.'

Scottish harpist Wendy Stewart is performing at the church service, which starts at 3pm.

Rev Adam Dillon, Clerk to the Church of Scotland Presbytery of Annandale and Eskdale, said: 'The horror of the night will live on in the memories of those who lived in Tundergarth and Lockerbie.

'This 30th anniversary gives the communities a chance to focus on looking forward - drawing on the resilience and temerity that has been required of them since 1988.

'My thoughts and prayers remain with all affected.'

Libyan Abdelbeset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi was the only person to be convicted of blowing up the aircraft. He was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment but was released from a Scottish prison in 2009 on compassionate grounds.

Megrahi died at his home in Tripoli in 2012 aged 60.