This research examines the rationale behind the institutionalized pilgrimage process of the Methodist Church Ghana (a phenomenon, dubbed Sacred Site
Visitation in this research), and its relationship with the renewal program of the
Church. The study was approached from an interdisciplinary perspective, namely,
theological, church historical and anthropological perspectives to demonstrate
how sacred site visitation affects renewal. Victor Turner’s theory of Communitas
constituted the theoretical foundation of the study. The theory perceives sacred
site visitation as a liminal phenomenon, characterized by Communitas, a situation
which offers opportunities for ‘pilgrims’ to enjoy a fresh kind of social existence
of harmony, filial bond and freedom in their spiritual quest.
Adopting a qualitative approach to data management, interview schedules,
focus group discussions were employed to elicit views, beliefs, and insights from
the Church’s clergy and the laity about the Church’s practice of sacred site visitation. Three prayer centres of the Methodist Church, Ghana, were used for case
study with purposive samples of the laity, youth and senior hierarchy constituting
the respondents. Two viewpoints emerged from the study. On one hand, sacred
site visitation is a means of spiritual renewal in the Methodist Church Ghana for
the following reasons: providing church members with the opportunity to enhance
their prayer lives; satisfying physical, spiritual and emotional needs. It also helps
the Church to construct a firm and non-negotiable image of the Wesleyan tradition.
On the other hand, it emerged that renewal in the Church goes beyond sacred site
visitation, fasting or praying to a holistic development of Church members.
Whereas the Church hierarchy was associated with the latter viewpoint, the laity held on to the former viewpoint. A remarkable finding was that the laity’s perspectives on certain sacred site visitation practices ran contrary to the Church hierarchy’s perspectives. The recommendations from the research were two-fold: for
academia and the Methodist Church Ghana. For academia, it is recommended that
there should evolve a discipline, Hierotopy or Hierotopical Studies under the Humanities which transcends the methodological and terminological limitations imposed by traditional humanistic disciplines. For the Church, various steps should
be made to streamline sacred site visitation to meet the qualitative growth of the
members of the church
Coalition, C. & YALLEY, D (2021). Sacred Site Visitation And The Renewal Programme Of The Methodist Church Ghana. Afribary. Retrieved from https://afribary.com/works/sacred-site-visitation-and-the-renewal-programme-of-the-methodist-church-ghana
Coalition, CDR, and DORIS YALLEY "Sacred Site Visitation And The Renewal Programme Of The Methodist Church Ghana" Afribary. Afribary, 12 Apr. 2021, https://afribary.com/works/sacred-site-visitation-and-the-renewal-programme-of-the-methodist-church-ghana. Accessed 30 Jun. 2022.
Coalition, CDR, and DORIS YALLEY . "Sacred Site Visitation And The Renewal Programme Of The Methodist Church Ghana". Afribary, Afribary, 12 Apr. 2021. Web. 30 Jun. 2022. < https://afribary.com/works/sacred-site-visitation-and-the-renewal-programme-of-the-methodist-church-ghana >.
Coalition, CDR and YALLEY, DORIS . "Sacred Site Visitation And The Renewal Programme Of The Methodist Church Ghana" Afribary (2021). Accessed June 30, 2022. https://afribary.com/works/sacred-site-visitation-and-the-renewal-programme-of-the-methodist-church-ghana