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Northumbria Pilgrimage – Balance
The pilgrimage will take place between August 21 – 28, 2020. We shall lead only ONE pilgrimage per year, for a group of ten pilgrims.
We decided to lead this pilgrimage as an offering of love to the amazing Saints of Northumbria, in particular St Cuthbert of Lindifarne, our unparalleled teacher of prayer in solitude.
The Pilgrimage lasts for a full week and is limited to a small group of only ten people. Experience has taught us that the smaller the group, the more intense and real can be the relationships which blossom between us and the Saints. There is more peace, there is more flexibility to adapt to the rhythm of each pilgrim, and there is more time for us to properly talk.
As with our Celtic Pilgrimages to the Isles, I am doing everything possible to offer you the experience of a real, prayerful Pilgrimage. We are not operating as a tour company; we are a small monastic community that tries to share with you the spiritual joys of a real pilgrimage to some of the most beautiful holy sites connected to the Celtic Saints. In practical terms, this means that we shall celebrate the Divine Liturgy as often as possible (hopefully in each sacred space we shall visit – islands, chapels, cathedrals, caves etc); we shall not rush from one site to another, but take our time to develop a personal relationship with each place; we shall focus on prayer; we shall engage in spiritual conversations. I need you to be aware of this – although our pilgrimages are always quite happy and (literally) filled with laughter, there is very little that happens outside our spiritual life.
The cost of the pilgrimage is 1800 US dollars (1500 British pounds), and is split between a Deposit (600 US dollars or 500 British pounds) and a Balance (1000 British pounds or 1200 US dollars, payable by the end of the calendar year – 2019). A place is booked only after payment of the Deposit. Only purchase your Balance after your booking has been confirmed.
The cost of the pilgrimage includes: 7 nights of accommodation in a five-bedroom house (two persons in a room); transport for all week (by cars and boats); all meals for the entire duration of the Pilgrimage; and all other expenses related to the Pilgrimage (including all entry tickets, boat tickets etc). Once we begin the pilgrimage, you should have NO further expense during the week (apart from souvenirs or other personal expenses). The cost does not include the travel expenses to and from your home country to the UK.
The intended schedule of the Pilgrimage includes the UNESCO world-heritage city of Durham, home to one of the finest Norman Cathedrals in Europe, holding the relics of three Saints from the Celtic millennium (St Cuthbert of Lindisfarne; St Bede the Venerable and St Oswald). We shall also visit Lindisfarne itself, the Holy Island of Northumbria, where the monks from Iona (St Aidan in particular) founded the great Monastery of Lindisfarne; this is a small tidal island, just across from Bamburgh, and can only be accessed at low tide. Bamburgh is also on our itinerary, with its magnificent Castle (connected to both the early 400s Celtic Kingdom of Bernicia, and the later conversion to Christianity) and the ancient Church of St Aidan (the place where the great saint died in 651 is marked in the Church and we hope to celebrate the Divine Liturgy there). We hope to also celebrate the Divine Liturgy on the tiny island of Inner Farne, the secluded island where St Cuthbert lived as a hermit until his death; this little drop of land, with its tens of thousands of wild birds and seals, is the heart of our pilgrimage. We shall also visit Jarrow and the Monastery of St Paul, monastic home of St Bede; Alnwick Castle and, if time allows us, the spectacular ruins of Whitby Abbey, St Hilda’s monastery.