Tour overview

April 15-27, 2020

Led by the Right Rev. Thomas Brown, Bishop of Maine

Episcopal Diocese of Maine

Will you join me for a pilgrimage in England after Easter in 2020?

A neighbor in Portland asked me, “so, is the Episcopal Church the same as the Church of England?” “Well, “ I said, “yes and no.” So I proceeded to explain the similarities and differences. She said, “Oh, so they’re like the mother ship.” It’s probably not the way I would have put it, but you know something? It fits. 

A tour through England’s many cathedrals will take on a quality of vacation, and in one sense it will be a holiday. Yet in another way this will be much more than a vacation, you will return from this pilgrimage with a keen knowledge of our history, and I hope, a stronger sense of your faith in Jesus Christ. 

Please prayerfully consider joining this journey designed to foster a deeper relationship with God by visiting and praying at holy places, connecting with old friends, and making new ones, and discovering for the first time (or once again) the depths of the English church’s spirituality and history. 

I will serve as our chaplain, and local guides will accompany us at the various sites. We will be blessed to pray as a pilgrimage community along the way, and to be a learning community, too.

 All in all, we shall gain great insight as we love the Lord and the Church.

Bookings with initial $500 deposit should be received by Saturday, December 21, 2019.  Bookings received after that date may be subject to surcharge, depending on flight availability. Final balance due by Saturday, February 22, 2020.

Included

  • Airfare
  • Transportation
  • Hotel Accommodations
  • Tour Guide
  • Bed & breakfast basis with 3 dinners included
  • All entrance fees and local taxes.

Not Included

  • Single Room Supplement
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Drinks, laundry and any items of a personal nature
Download pdf brochure

Day 1: Wednesday, April 15

We meet mid afternoon in Portland, to board our luxury bus to Boston’s Logan Airport for our overnight flight to London. Dinner will be served on board.

Day 2: Thursday, April 16

We land at London’s Heathrow Airport in the early morning, and will make a stop for breakfast in the royal city of Windsor, after which there will be an opportunity to visit Windsor Castle. After a break for an early lunch (not included in the tour price) we will make our way to Canterbury, where we should arrive in good time to unpack before those who wish can attend Choral Evensong. After Evensong there will be a welcome drink and our opening dinner.

Day 3: Friday, April 17

Today will be devoted to a thorough exploration of Canterbury, starting with a pilgrim Eucharist in the cathedral, and a full guided tour. In the afternoon, we will have a walking tour of the city of Canterbury, finishing in ample time for us to attend Evensong.

Day 4: Saturday, April 18

Today we will explore some enchanting towns and buildings in Kent. We begin by driving over Romney Mash to the Cinque Port of Rye. After a chance to ex- plore its lovely streets, we will visit the sometime home of Henry James, before heading on to nearby Winchelsea. After lunch we will visit Sissinghurst, to see the world-renowned garden created by Vita Sackville-West.

Day 5: Sunday, April 19

This morning we will attend the principal celebration of the Eucharist at Canterbury Cathedral. When this ends we will have an opportunity to find a quick lunch (not included in the tour price) before we leave for Bury St. Edmunds, which will be our home for the next three nights. Dinner will be included at our hotel this evening.

Day 6: Monday, April 20

After breakfast we will have a guided tour of St. Edmundsbury Cathedral, right across the road from where we are staying, before heading to Norwich, where we will spend the rest of the day, both learning about its own wonderful cathedral, and about its most famous Christian, Mother Julian.

Day 7: Tuesday, April 21

Today will start with a visit to Ely, dominated by its extraordinary cathedral, famed for its unique 14th-century ‘Lantern’ tower, visible from miles around. In the early afternoon we will come to Cambridge, where we will have a guided tour of the city, culminating in attending
Evensong at Kings College Chapel, before returning to Bury for dinner.

Day 8: Wednesday, April 22

After an early breakfast, we check out from our hotel in Bury St. Edmunds, to head north, stopping late morning in Lincoln, where we will have time to get a quick lunch and visit the cathedral. After this we continue to the far north east of England, to the breathtaking city of Durham, dominated by its remarkable Norman cathedral and castle.

Day 9: Thursday, April 23

Today we will learn a little about two of the Celtic saints of Northumbria. Our morning will begin in Jarrow, where the Venerable Bede lived as a monk for almost his entire life. Our visit will include the chancel of the parish church, which dates back to Bede’s own era. In the afternoon, we visit the delightful market town of Hexham, where St. Wilfrid once ministered at its abbey.

Day 10: Friday, April 24

Today we drive south from Durham to visit the coastal town of Whitby, and the ruins of its ancient abbey. It was here that Hild once presided over a ‘double monastery’ (ie women and men), and which was the setting for the Synod that settled the ecclesiastical debate about whether the English church should follow Roman or Celtic practices. After a break for lunch, we visit the beautiful abbey ruins at Rievaulx, before returning to Durham.

Day 11: Saturday, April 25

Our final whole day will be devoted to Durham City itself, with a pilgrim Eucharist in its cathedral and a guided tour of this remarkable building, before free time to enjoy the city and its riverbanks, and indulge in some last-minute shopping.

Day 12: Sunday, April 26

This morning we will attend the cathedral Eucharist in Durham, and then enjoy a free afternoon for last minute shopping, wandering around Durham’s exquisite river banks, or attending Choral Evensong.

Day 13: Monday, April 27

After breakfast, we transfer to Newcastle Airport to catch a flight to Amsterdam, where we change planes for Boston, landing at 6.30pm. From here we catch our luxury bus back to Portland, ready to tell our friends and family of all that we have experienced on our pilgrimage.

Download pdf brochure