Four men, knights of the king, embarked on a mission for their sovereign. This would not be a mission of mercy or state. It would be a charge of revenge. Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, had defied the king. The priest understood the consequences of his actions but he would not be turned away from his steadfast obedience to Christ. In fact, he would be cut down by four swords in the Cathedral – his blood spilled upon the floor of this holy place. He would become a martyr for Christ and an inspiration for hundreds of years to come. What caused this man to be willing to die?
For hundreds of years Canterbury has remained a place of pious pilgrimage. The medieval streets echo the past, whispering the joyous and tragic tales of the hundreds of thousands that have crossed through the Cathedral gates seeking a touch from God. Although the heart of the Anglican tradition, Canterbury hails back hundreds of years earlier with arrival of Christianity to England. Come and be inspired by the surroundings, the stories and the opportunities of service that still abound in the City of Pilgrims.
- Follow the footsteps of the pilgrims of the past as you hike the Canterbury pilgrims trail.
- Spend a quiet afternoon at St. Martin’s, the oldest parish church still in constant use in England.
- Trace the life of Thomas Becket through your visit to Canterbury Cathedral .
- Serve at the Eastbridge Hospital, a place that has been aiding pilgrims and the elderly for over 800 years.
- Take a day in the English countryside and discover a hidden hamlet straight out of a storybook.
Every Wonder Voyage itinerary (mission trip and/or pilgrimage) is personalized to the desires, direction and personality of each group. This itinerary is only a description of the kind of journey we can create for your unique team.
- Day 1 – The Path of a Pilgrim
We will head straight from the airport toward historic Canterbury, with stops along the way for some food and adventure. After arriving and settling into our temporary home, we will take time to get acquainted and to discuss what it really means to trust in the Lord. How has trust fit in to your participation on this pilgrimage? In what ways will you need to grow in trust this week?
- Day 2 – In All Your Ways Acknowledge Him
We will join the morning Eucharist at Canterbury before we explore the Cathedral and soak up the rich and mysterious history of this place. In the afternoon we will head to St. Martin’s. This is the oldest continually-used church in England and the place where St. Augustine began his mission to the Angles. In addition to hearing the story of this special place, we will take some time to give back in an afternoon serving the parish in various work projects. In the evening we will have the first of our Stone Soup Suppers.
- Day 3 – Our Fortress and Our Hiding Place
The White Cliffs of Dover are one of Britain’s most instantly recognized natural landmarks. Rising out of the English Channel (over 300ft high in places), they are a dramatic and inspiring sight from the sea and provide superb views out across the Channel towards France. Today we will ascend the heights of the Cliffs and enjoy a visit to Dover Castle. This stronghold contains some of the finest medieval ruins in the UK and a fantastic journey into World War II in the hidden tunnels under the castle. Does your trust in God include looking to Him as fortress and hiding place? Do you too often rely on your own strength and wisdom?
- Day 4 – Obedient and Steadfast
Today is our final day in Canterbury, and we will spend it visiting some of the hidden treasures of Canterbury: Eastbridge and Greyfriars. Greyfriars Chapel is the only building now remaining of the first English Franciscan Friary built in 1267, forty three years after the first Friars settled in Canterbury, during the life time of St Francis of Assisi. Even after being banished, the friars returned to tend the sick and worship the Lord. We hope today to attend an Anglican service at Greyfriars Chapel. There will be free time in the afternoon for the team to explore Canterbury, do a bit of shopping and have lunch at leisure.
- Day 5 – Ancient Modern Wonder
We will depart ancient Canterbury today for the Ancient-Modern wonder that is London. We will spend part of the day honing our Urban Navigation skills. We will hit the ground running with exploration in the heart of the city, taking in Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, and Parliament. In the evening we will settle into our London home.
- Day 6 – Two Towers
Today we head into London to see two very different ‘towers.’ The Tower of London has been a fortress, palace, and prison; and is now the home of the Crown Jewels. The tower at St Paul’s Cathedral is a monument built to the glory of God and a symbol of the hope and strength of the people of London. The towers we build in our own lives often reflect the focus of our hearts. What towers have you built?
- Day 7 – A Most Impressive History
We immerse ourselves today in the history of mankind as seen in culture, art, politics and spirituality. Our path leads us to the British Museum for some of the most intriguing artifacts known to man, including the Rosetta Stone. We will also visit Westminster Abbey. This amazing place has been a house of worship for over a thousand years; it is the seat of coronation for the British throne and the resting place of 17 monarchs. We will take time during the day to reflect on the concept of legacy and the legacies that God expects us to leave with our lives.
- Day 8 – Brothers and Sisters
One of the many blessings in the Christian life is the family we receive through it. Today we will have the privilege to join in worship with our brothers and sisters of St Martin’s in the Field in London. The afternoon will be open for small groups to explore a bit more of the city, to enjoy lunch of their choosing and to take care of any last-minute souvenir hunting. We will wrap up our final night together with a celebration of the journey we have made together.
- Day 9 -The Journey Continues
This morning we will pack up and say goodbye to a fantastic week of exploration, service and encounter. In the same way that your pilgrimage journey actually started before you got here, it doesn’t end when you leave here. We pray that you depart with a new mindset about trusting in the Lord. How have you changed this week?
Legacy in Canterbury and South England
- *This is the base cost of the trip. Your cost may differ depending on housing, activities, etc.