Saints of Northern England Pilgrimage
Bookings are open for the 2018 Landings UK & Farm Street Jesuits Saints of Northern England Pilgrimage visiting Lindisfarne, Hexham, Durham and York. June 8th – 13th 2018. Led by Fr Dominic Robinson SJ and Fr Thomas Kane
England is a country with a strong Christian and Catholic heritage with many pilgrimage sites and a plethora of saints from the past inspiring our present and future. Landings UK, the programme for returning Catholics based at Farm Street, and the Farm Street Jesuits, would like to invite you to a six-day pilgrimage exploring and celebrating this wonderful heritage in the north of England from June 8th – 13th 2018. As we travel around these ancient centres of pilgrimage we hope to connect with the vibrant faith of our Christian ancestors and so strengthen our own commitment to living out and spreading the Gospel in today’s world.
The first stop on the pilgrimage will be Holy Island and Lindisfarne Priory, a place of pilgrimage which tells a story of persecution and rebuilding.
Lindisfarne Priory was founded by St. Aidan in 635 but destroyed by the Danes in the ninth century. It was not until the 11th century that it was rebuilt by the Benedictines of Durham, later falling into ruin again after the dissolution of the monasteries in 1535. Stones from the Priory were used in the construction of Lindisfarne Castle, built in 1549 as protection against Scottish raids. It too fell into ruin and was restored in 1900 by Sir Edwin Lutyens, the designer of the Cenotaph in Whitehall.
Our pilgrim route then takes us to Hexham and the shrine of St Wilfrid. St. Wilfrid’s greatest achievement was the building of a monastery here between 672 and 678, whose church was reputed to be the finest north of the Alps. This was largely destroyed by the Danes in 810 but Wilfrid’s tiny crypt remains where one can see the building materials used that date from the Roman occupation.
We then continue to the great Cathedral City of Durham, with connections to Saints Oswald, Cuthbert and Bede. With the ravages of the Danes in the 9th century, the monks, with the head of St Oswald and the body of St Cuthbert, wandered for seven years before settling at Chester-le-Street. When miraculous signs were given to St Cuthbert’s body, it was moved to Durham. A stone chapel was built over it and Bishop Aldhon began a great church on an eminence at a bend in the River Wear which was consecrated in 999. This was later replaced by a Norman cathedral dedicated to Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary. In 1104 the shrine of St Cuthbert was transferred to the new cathedral and now lies in a refectory behind the high altar. The Venerable Bede’s shrine was destroyed at the Reformation but his tomb can still be seen in the Galilee chapel.
We then travel on to York to visit the Minster and the Bar Convent Museum, which explains the history of Christianity in the North of England. We also visit other places of interest in York including the Chapel of St Margaret Clitherow, one of the forty martyrs of England and Wales put to death for running a Catholic school during penal times.
Transport on this pilgrimage will be by rail and coach, although there will be some considerable walking in the towns and cities we visit. Each day there will be a programme of prayer and reflection with input on the pilgrimage sites and guided tours. Mass will be celebrated in the churches and chapels we visit.