For years we would hear this when we told people about our trips to Northern Ireland: “Are you sure it’s safe?” The picturesque country of Northern Ireland has had its fair share of violence. From 400 years of tyranny to its current state, Northern Ireland has been a land of ‘The Troubles.” The sectarian violence fueled by blind religious bigotry has left this tiny nation on the front lines of the world’s news.
But a truer picture of Northern Ireland is that of a land full of blue mountains and forest parks, mazy lakes and windswept moors, white Atlantic sands and inland seas. But the best view of Northern Ireland comes through the eyes of her population. Gracious, hospitable, and desperate for peace, these lovely people cry for God to visit their land and bring reconciliation once and for all. Our distinctive pilgrimages and missions trips to Northern Ireland are uniquely ecumenical as we serve Catholics and Protestants who are true followers of Christ.
- Learn what it means to be a peacemaker.
- Visit both Catholic and Protestant churches in search of likenesses rather than differences.
- Visit an ancient church and connect to your Christian roots.
- Explore the Giant’s Causeway, the mythical bridge to Scotland.
- Hear Celtic tales of old after hiking to the top of a breathtaking mountain.
- Go castle raiding; find secret passageways and ancient dungeons.
- Work at a youth center that focuses on inner city teens.
- Be an agent of reconciliation through cultural exchange.
- Serve in a needy community through work projects.
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 LAND OF PATRICK
Today you go in search of peace, justice and reconciliation. Our home for the next week will be the rocky, rugged coast of North Ireland. We will explore both the stunning beauty of nature and the spiritual realities of the peace of God. After we pick you up from the Dublin airport we will head north across the border. We will visit where St. Patrick established his mission to the wild Irish tribes in the 5th century. Our home for the week sits on the North Ireland Coast with the North Sea right outside our door.
- DAY 2 – COASTAL EXPLORATION
There is an ancient myth of two giants, one in Scotland and the other in Ireland, who battled each other with words before, eventually, tossing great boulders back and forth. Thus, the legend of Giant’s Causeway was born. We start the day by crossing the bridge they built when battling one another. Will you dare to walk the dangling Carrick a-rede Rope Bridge that precariously hangs over the ocean hundreds of feet below? We will also explore the ancient ruins of Dunluce Castle. Tonight you will have the first of two Stone Soup meals to see who runs the best pilgrim’s restaurant.
- DAY 3 – AN ANTRIM SABBATH
We will spend our Sabbath in North Ireland by joining a local Anglican congregation in holy Eucharist. You will be surprised by how much is familiar. After a delicious lunch we will head out for an afternoon hike on one of the most stunning coastlines in Europe. You will partake of God in a different way as you eat and drink of the beauty of creation. Tonight our second team will make our final Stone Soup feast. The evening gathering is sure to be filled with lively conversation.
- DAY 4- THE HANDS OF CHRIST
This Monday morning we return to the Parish Church we worshipped in on Sunday to join with their youth in a day of community service. Through projects around the town we will set ourselves to serving with all of our hearts. In the afternoon, we will join the youth for an evening of discussion and fun, where we learn about each other, where we come from and how we worship Christ.
- DAYS 5– CORRYMEELA
The Corrymeela Community was born out of a group of young people who were profoundly affected by the violence and futility of war in North Ireland and around the world. This community of Christians, drawn from many traditions and welcoming of all peoples, have created a truly global village. Their faithful belief is that God desires to heal and transform a world wracked by war. For 50 years, the Corrymeela Community has been facilitating peace, justice and reconciliation in Ireland and around the world. We will spend two days here learning how to be peacemakers in our world.
- DAY 6– A VIEW OF THE TROUBLES
An early departure today will bring us to Belfast, a thriving city that was once torn and shattered by a religious civil war. We will spend time in a community center built in between Protestant and Catholic neighborhoods. This has been a place where past enemies meet and pray and play, creating a lasting bond of peace. We will visit some of the sites that stand as a reminder of a violent past and a hopeful future. You’ll have a couple of hours to explore on your own before we head back to the Republic of Ireland for our final night and a delicious Celebration Meal.
- DAY 7 – TEN THOUSAND GOODBYES
Peace, justice and reconciliation. These are words that demand action. In a world rent with war, prejudice and hate, peacemakers are a precious need. You’ve spent the last weekend not only engaging in the beauty of North Ireland but also learning to follow Jesus’ words on the Sermon on the Mount. ‘Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called the children of God. May you depart the Island of Patrick as a peacemaker.
Legacy in Northern Ireland
- *This is the base cost of the trip. Your cost may differ depending on housing, activities, etc.