It is a unique and wonderful ministerial task to lead a pilgrimage, whether to the Holy Land, or to any other destination. Across the centuries, Christian clergy have taken groups to visit sites redolent with sacred history, and to learn more of their relevance from the communities based in these places today.
If you are considering the possibility of organizing a pilgrimage, we strongly suggest that you call or email Dominic Barrington (who runs Lightline North America), to have an initial conversation about how to organize such a trip. In addition to running this company, Dominic is also an Episcopal priest of many years standing, who has led almost fifty pilgrimages, and he will be delighted to help you shape your ideas.
Every Lightline Pilgrimage is tailor-made, and begins with a blank sheet of paper. However, if you look at the many itineraries for our upcoming pilgrimages, both in the Holy Land and in Britain, you will see some similarities, which reflect our views and experiences of what is likely to work best, and these may be a helpful starting point in planning your own pilgrimage.
Whether in Britain or the Holy Land, some of the principal accommodation we use is very highly sought after, and, if it is possible, it is good to start the initial planning for a pilgrimage 18 months or so before departure. However, depending on the time of year you wish to take a group, we can sometimes make arrangements at much shorter notice.
It is very helpful for clergy leading a pilgrimage to have visited their destination before they ever lead a group there. It is sometimes possible for us to offer clergy discounted places on an existing pilgrimage to get such experience, and you are welcome to contact Dominic to enquire about this.
Lightline does not expect parishes or dioceses to make any investment of their own funds in setting up a pilgrimage, and there is no risk to your church community in arranging such a trip, either financially or legally (we are fully bonded and insured for all the trips we undertake).
You will find it helpful to spend some time looking at the various itineraries shown in our upcoming pilgrimages: Holy Land Pilgrimage, Anglican/Episcopal Pilgrimage, and Celtic Pilgrimage. These will assist you in ideas for your itinerary and trip details. These can be a helpful basis for a conversation with Dominic, and the start of the process to plan the pilgrimage you wish to lead for your parish, diocese or community.
If you have any more questions about how you might construct and lead a pilgrimage, please contact Dominic Barrington, who will be delighted to talk further with you.