Travelling Further - Pilgrimages
Day trips, special events and the annual Chapel Holiday each Easter vacation
Going on pilgrimage is an ancient way of taking a new step in the journey of faith and a great metaphor for seeing the whole of life as a following in the footsteps of Christ (plus it can be great to get out of the Cambridge ‘Bubble’ for a bit and see somewhere new). So each term there are day trips by foot, car and train. Recent years have seen visits to London, Norwich, Ely, Peterborough and St Alban’s, as well as some of the local Chapels and churches, like the 12th century Leper Chapel on the outskirts of town.
There have been some truly special moments such as when part of Westminster Abbey was sealed off specially for us and we sang the Latin Office of None from Lady Margaret’s own prayer-book round her tomb on the 500th anniversary of her death in 2009; the late night exclusive tour of Ely Cathedral in Lent 2008; or reading TS Eliot’s poem Little Gidding at Little Gidding, before following the route he described into the little church, specially candlelit for us and singing Compline.
Each year we also have a 5-day pilgrimage following in the footsteps of the great saints of the past. In 2008 we went to Rome and amongst many things had a fabulous visit to the site of St John’s supposed boiling in oil outside the Latin Gate, which is commemorated in College each year by a big feast on 6th May. In 2009 we visited the oldest cathedrals in England, Rochester and Canterbury as well as having a special tour of the church St Augustine made his own when he first arrived in 597. Then in 2010 we stayed on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, home of such Celtic saints as Aidan and Cuthbert who brought Christianity back to the north of England in the seventh century, as well as visiting York Minster and Durham Cathedral.