Early Christianity In The British Isles

Early Christianity in Britain Tour

Another tour that Martha and I would be delighted to plan and lead for an interested group would be a travel experience that traces the history and heritage of Early Christianity in Britain from St. Columba’s arrival in Scotland in 563 A.D.

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Oran’s Chapel, Iona, 2009 Tour

This tour would certainly include Iona in Scotland, which Martha and I think is one of the most sacred places in Britain. We’d love to stay two nights on the island, not just the three hours that most groups spend there. Iona would be the perfect spot to begin our tour, an opportunity not only to start at the beginning of the story, but to experience the connection with nature and serenity that were so important to the Celtic Christians.

A possible itinerary for this 12-14 day tour would start with our arrival in Glasgow. We would head directly to Oban on the west coast, stopping in Kilmartin for an overview of the early Irish/Scots kingdom of Dalriada and the Neolithic remains of the people who preceded the Scots. Overnight in Oban.

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Standing stones in the Kilmartin Valley (Sue H., 2009 Scotland tour)

From Oban we would take the ferry to Mull and continue on to Iona, where we would stay for two nights, giving us an opportunity to soak in the atmosphere, attend worship at the Abbey Church, and meet members of the Iona Community.

Following our stay on Iona, we would head for Edinburgh for three nights. One of our days there would include both a city tour with a stop at Edinburgh Castle to see the lovely St. Margaret’s Chapel and an afternoon free for your own exploring. On our second day we would take a day-trip south of Edinburgh to visit Rosslyn Chapel, one of the majestic ruined border-area Abbeys, and one of the area’s stately homes.

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St. Margaret’s Chapel, Edinburgh Castle

Leaving Edinburgh, we’d head south to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, where the monastery was founded by St. Aiden from Iona, and later led by St. Cuthbert. On our way to our three-night stay in York, we’d also stop in Durham to visit the Cathedral and the tombs of St. Cuthbert and his biographer, the Venerable Bede.

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York street scene with Minster

One of our York days would include a city walking tour and a free afternoon. You’ll have time to visit the Minster and perhaps attend the Choral Evensong. On our other York day, we’d take a day-trip to Whitby on the east coast to see where the Synod of Whitby was held in 664, ending the Celtic/Roman debate. We’d also see the beautiful north Yorkshire Moors and stop at either Fountains or Rievaulx Abbey.

Leaving York, it’s off to London for three nights. On the way, we’d stop at Coventry to come forward in time to the 20th century, with the WWII ruins of the old Coventry Cathedral and the magnificent new Cathedral next door.

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Coventry Cathedrals, old and new

London offers many possibilities for our tour, with numerous churches worth a visit. We would also plan to take a day-trip south to Kent, to end our tour at the other home of early Christianity in Britain at Canterbury. Departure for our return to the USA would be from a London airport.

These are some of the highlights that we would suggest for an Early Christianity in Britain Tour. As with our other potential tours, the final decisions about itinerary are up to you and your group. We would need to have a group of at least 15 committed people in order to plan, book, and price this trip. If you are interested in this topic or tour, please contact us.

Responses

  1. My wife and I would be interested in this tour.


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