A Celtic Pilgrimage

10-day Pilgrimage Tour across Northern England and Scotland, July 9-19, 2015

With Faith Leaders Claire Nevin-Field and Rachel Field and Art and Art History guide Marilyn MacGregor

Melrose Abbey
Melrose Abbey

Come along as we retrace the steps of three of the great saints of the English Church—Columba, Aidan, and Cuthbert—on pilgrimage to some of the holiest places in Christendom. In the wide, wild landscape of Scotland and Northern England, we will find inspiration and meaning where holy steps left their mark across the ages, defining for all time Christianity in England and elsewhere, including our own Episcopal Church.

Our journey beings in Glasgow, from which we travel by rail and ferry to Iona, the island off the coast of Scotland where St. Columba landed in 563. On Iona, a Celtic “thin place” where earth and heaven come close enough to nearly touch, we will enter into the spiritual community, attending services in the ancient abbey and finding time for prayer and meditation amid the wild beauty of coast, sea, and sky.

We will travel next with St. Aiden who in 635 left Iona to carry the Christian message across north of England. Stops will include Edinburgh and nearby Dunfermline Abbey, seat of St. Margaret, former queen of Scotland; the great Border Abbey at Melrose; and the Holy Isle of Lindisfarne, another of the famous Celtic “thin places.”

Our final destination will be the magnificent historic town of Durham, a World Heritage site rich with architectural treasures including several 12th-century bridges, a castle constructed on the orders of William the Conqueror, and the crown jewel, Durham Cathedral, an awe-inspiring masterpiece of Romanesque faith and architecture.

Tour details:
Begin and end in Glasgow (alternate ending point can be arranged)

Optional add-on: 2 days in London, July 7-9, with a visit to the British Library to see The Lindisfarne Gospels and other historical texts related to the tour

This tour will be a meaningful spiritual experience, a pilgrimage rather than a leisure trip and a chance to seek a deeper relationship with God in the company of fellow travelers. Accommodations will be in modest inns and hotels, meals will be good but simple, and transportation will be by local ferries, buses, and trains. There will, of course, be plenty of good times and fun moments, and chances to experience beauty, history, art, and culture that is related but not exclusively spiritual.

Cost: $3,000. Includes lodging, meals, transportation, entry fees, and guides. Not included: airfare and transportation to starting points.

For more information, or to reserve your space on the tour, contact Claire Nevin-Field at [email protected] or 215-925-5968.

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