Pilgrimage overview

JULY 17-29, 2022

Led by the Very Rev. Steven L. Thomason & the Rev. Canon Jennifer King Daugherty

The shape of this 11-day trip is contemplative and communal, drawing on the ancient wisdom of Celtic spirituality and the monastic rhythms of worship, prayer, and life in community, while also breathing in the serene beauty of the landscape. Those who make the trip will have a keen sense of taking their place in the long lineage of pilgrims who have traveled to the same

holy sites for more than a thousand years. The spirits of these faithful forebears will buoy our spirits as we make our way.

After a first night’s stay in Glasgow, we will begin the journey toward the westerly isle of Iona, where Cuthbert landed in 563 to establish a mission, and where we will spend four nights in seaside lodging near the ancient Iona Abbey. The island is one of those “thin places” that draw heaven and earth a bit closer, affording the quiet space for the holy to break into our lives anew. The Iona experience should prove to be a fitting foray into the pilgrimage.

Upon leaving Iona, we will travel east to Edinburgh where we will join cathedral worshippers for Sunday service, visit historic sites in the city and surrounding region, have time to explore the city before making our way to Northumbria, the beautiful borderlands of northeast England with our center in lovely Durham. 

We will lodge just down the hill from the vast 12th century Durham Cathedral, home to shrines for St. Cuthbert and the Venerable Bede (whose 8th Century writings have gifted us with knowledge of these early Christians). There will be time to explore Durham Castle and stroll along the serene River Wear. Day excursions from Durham will take us to medieval monastic ruins, ancient churches of historical import, including the magnificent Hexham Abbey, and we will cross the tidal causeway onto the Holy Island of Lindisfarne where St. Aidan established a monastery in 634. 

We hope you will join us. Space is limited so register soon to reserve your spot.

Included

  • Airfare
  • All airport departure & passenger taxes
  • Hotel Accommodations
  • Breakfast & Dinners on days 2-6 and 12.
  • Entrance fees & local government taxes
  • Modern air-conditioned tour buses

Not Included

  • Single room supplement
  • Travel insurance
  • Any item of a personal nature
Download pdf brochure

Day 1: SUNDAY, JULY 17

We meet at Sea-Tac Airport in the evening to catch our British Airways non-stop flight to London’s Heathrow Airport. Dinner will be served on board.

Day 2: Monday, July 18

Landing in the early afternoon, we change planes to fly on to Scotland, landing in Glasgow at 5.45pm. Once we have cleared immigration and Customs requirements, we will travel the short distance to our hotel for the night, close to the south bank of the River Clyde. Here we will have dinner and hope to catch up on our sleep after our transatlantic journey.

Day 3: tuesday, july 19

After breakfast we begin our journey to Iona, driving to the cathedral city of Oban on Scotland’s west coast. Here we will visit the Episcopal Cathedral and have lunch in one of the cafes in the town (not included in the tour price) before boarding the first of our two ferries that will take us to Iona via the island of Mull. We will arrive in Iona in time to freshen up before dinner. Dinner will be provided at our hotel each night we are on the island.

Days 4,5 & 6: Wednesday July 20 – Friday July 22

We have three full days to explore this unique island on which Celtic Christianity was first planted by St. Columba in the sixth century. During our time together, there will be the chance to visit the medieval abbey, and to take part in a walking pilgrimage on the island. In addition we will have times of worship and silence, and wonderful opportunities simply to explore the beautiful landscape of this enchanting place.

Day 7: saturday, july 23

We leave Iona after breakfast to retrace our journey across Mull and back to Oban. We will break for lunch again in Oban, before driving on to Scotland’s capital city, Edinburgh, arriving in time for dinner.

Day 8: Sunday, july 24

This morning we will worship with the local Episcopal community in downtown Edinburgh, before enjoying a free day to explore this historic and beautiful city.

Day 9: monday, july 25

After an early breakfast we head south from Edinburgh towards the English border, where we will come first to Holy Island, also known as Lindisfarne – the base for the Celtic mission in Northumbria founded by St Aidan. We will arrive on the island mid morning, and have several hours to gather in worship, find some lunch (not included in the tour price) and enjoy the holy tranquility of this place. Once the tide has receded we will continue to journey south to the great cathedral city of Durham that will be our home for the remaining nights of our pilgrimage.

Day 10: Tuesday, July 26

Today we will learn more about two significant Celtic saints from this region. In the morning we will drive the short distance to the town of Jarrow, home of the Venerable Bede for his entire adult life. We will worship in the parish church, parts of which date back to Bede’s own time, and we will visit a small museum established in his memory. From Jarrow we drive west to the market town of Hexham, to visit its beautiful abbey, and learn about St Wilfrid, who was once a monk at the abbey. We will return to Durham in time to find dinner at one of the many restaurants in the city.

Day 11: Wednesday, july 27

This morning we drive south to the ruins of Fountains Abbey, once one of the most important Cistercian abbeys in northern England. We will be able to explore the ruins and enjoy the beautiful countryside, before driving on to the city of York. After a break for lunch we will enjoy a tour of York Minster, and have some free time to explore this exquisite medieval city before returning to Durham for dinner.

Day 12: Thursday, july 28

Our pilgrimage comes to a climax today as we visit Durham Cathedral, originally built to be the final shrine of Cuthbert, the most beloved of the Celtic saints of northern England. We will have a full guided tour of the cathedral before celebrating a final pilgrimage Eucharist together. The afternoon will be free, for last-minute shopping or a gentle wander around the wooded banks of the river Wear, before we have our final pilgrimage dinner together.

Day 13: Friday, July 29

After an early breakfast we drive the short distance to Newcastle Airport to catch our late morning flight to London, where we change planes and fly onwards to Seattle, landing home in the early evening.

Download pdf brochure