May 7–18, 2020
Church of the Heavenly Rest, New York
As a parish community, we are committed to searching for a deeper experience of God. Spiritual pilgrimage is an opportunity to explore the ancient traditions and places that continue to inform our faith today. Even though we will travel as a small group, what we encounter and experience has the potential to transform not only our lives, but the life of the entire community.
We at Heavenly Rest have a long history of connecting with the Celtic tradition; we are excited to journey together to Iona and throughout Scotland and Northumbria in hopes of deepening our ties to Celtic spirituality and opening ourselves up to a fuller experience of God’s presence with us.
We hope you will join us.
Please return the booking form and paperwork with a $500 per person deposit no later than Sunday, December 22nd. The balance of the tour cost will be due by Saturday, February 29th, 2020.
- Airfare Including all taxes
- Hotel Accommodations
- Tour Guide
- Breakfast & Dinners on days 7, 8, 9 & 10
- All entrance fees and local taxes.
- Single Room Supplement
- Travel Insurance
- Optional Tours
- Laundry and items of a personal nature
Day 1: Thursday, May 7
We meet at JFK Airport during the afternoon for our overnight flight to Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. Dinner will be served on board.
Day 2: Friday, May 8
Landing at Schiphol in the morning, we change planes for our short flight onwards to Glasgow, arriving late morning. During today we will visit Glasgow’s cathedral, dedicated to the Celtic saint Kentigern, also known as Mungo, and its museum of religious art, before checking into our hotel, located in the heart of downtown Glasgow. Dinner will be provided tonight.
Day 3: Saturday, May 9
After breakfast we will start on our journey to Iona, heading first to the west coast city of Oban, where we will visit the Episcopal cathedral, and make a stop for lunch, before taking the first of two ferry crossings to the island of Mull. We will cross Mull, and catch the passenger ferry from Fionnphort to Iona, where our hotel is conveniently located close to the jetty. We will enjoy three nights here, with dinner provided each night.
Days 4 & 5: Sunday, May 10 - Monday, May 11
We will enjoy two quiet days of retreat, prayer and exploration as we discover something of the history and beauty of this very special island that saw the beginning of the Celtic mission in Britain so many centuries ago. Our time will include worship, silence and the chance to take part in a walking pilgrimage around the island.
Day 6: Tuesday, May 12
We leave Iona after breakfast, retracing our journey back to Oban, from where we head to Dunfermline, the former capital city of Scotland. If there are no delays with the ferry services, we will have a brief tour of Dunfermline, including a visit to its medieval abbey, now a working Church of Scotland parish.
Day 7: Wednesday, May 13
After breakfast, we journey south, across the border into England, to spend most of today on Holy Island, also known as Lindisfarne. We will have the opportunity to celebrate the Eucharist in the medieval parish church, and learn a little more about the history of the Celtic church here, as well as having a good amount of free time to walk, pray and be silent. Late afternoon we will continue our journey south to the cathedral and university city of Durham, which will be our base for the rest of the pilgrimage.
Day 8: Thursday, May 14
Today we will visit places associated with two saints associated with the Celtic church. In the morning we visit Jarrow, where the Venerable Bede spent almost all his life in prayer and study. Although not himself a Celt, it was his account of the history of this period that is the main source of information for our knowledge of this period. Late morning we will head west to the lovely market town of Hexham, where we will visit the abbey that was once the base of St Wilfrid. We will have a tour of the church, and enjoy free time to explore our surroundings before returning to Durham in time for dinner.
Day 9: Friday, May 15
Today we will learn of the end of the Celtic era of Christianity in Britain, as we visit Whitby, and learn of the Synod which took place there in 664. We will visit the ruins of the medieval abbey, set dramatically on cliffs overlooking the town, and also learn something of the ministry of the church in Whitby today. After the opportunity to have a classic British fish-and- chip lunch, we will visit the stunning medieval abbey ruins at Rievaulx, before returning to Durham in time for dinner.
Day 10: Saturday, May 16
This morning we will explore Durham Cathedral, with a guided tour of this extraordinary building which dominates the city. Built as the final resting place of St Cuthbert, the most beloved of the Northumbrian saints, we will celebrate a final pilgrim Eucharist here to mark the completion of our journey. The afternoon will be free to have time to explore Durham’s beautiful river banks or enjoy some shopping.
Day 11: Sunday, May 17
This morning we will join the local community at worship in Durham Cathedral at the Cathedral Eucharist, and, for those who wish it, also at Choral Evensong in the middle of the afternoon. In the evening there will be a final dinner to celebrate our time together on pilgrimage.
Day 12: Monday, May 18
After an early breakfast we will board a private bus for our transfer to Newcastle Airport, to start our journey back to New York via Amsterdam, landing in the late afternoon, ready to tell our friends of all we have seen.