Pictures from England

The Road to Canterbury

Led by:

The Rt. Rev. J. Neil Alexander
Bishop of Atlanta

August 20 - 31, 2007

Trip map

DAY 1, Monday, August 20, 2007 – We will depart from Hartsfield - Jackson International Airport for our transatlantic flight. DS

DAY 2, Tuesday, August 21, 2007 – We will arrive in London where we will meet our driver and guide and transfer to the lovely city of Oxford, home to Oxford University and Oxford Cathedral.  We will have a “Welcome to Great Britain” dinner and overnight in Oxford. BD

DAY 3, Wednesday, August 22, 2007 – We will explore Oxford, best known for its University which consists of 40 different colleges spread across the city.  We will visit Christ Church College, a unique institution, one of the largest colleges in the University of Oxford and, at the same time, the Cathedral Church for the Diocese of Oxford.  The cathedral was built in the remains of the old priory and is one of the smallest cathedrals in Britain.  We will visit University Church (St. Mary the Virgin) which contains more than 700 years’ worth of funeral monuments.  We will see St. Giles Street where Balliol College, established in 1263, sits.  The wooden doors of the college still bear scorch marks from the reign of Mary I (Bloody Mary).  We will see the Martyrs’ Memorial commemorating Bishops Latimer and Ridley and Archbishop Cranmer who were burned on huge pyres in Broad Street for their Protestant beliefs.  The afternoon is devoted to time for teaching by Bishop Alexander and free time.  You will be free for dinner on your own.  Overnight Oxford. B

DAY 4, Thursday, August 23, 2007 – We will travel to southern Wales first stopping in a wooded valley of the River Wye in southeast Wales, to see Tintern Abbey which inspired Wordsworth's famous poems, "Lines”.  The abbey was founded in the 12th century for Cistercian monks by the order of the Norman Lord of Chepstow, Walter de Clare.  The great abbey church seen today was rebuilt in the late 13th century under patronage of a later Lord of Chepstow, Roger Bigod.  At the time of the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII in 1536, Tintern was the richest abbey in Wales; something reflected in its majestic archways and elegant windows.  We continue to Cardiff, Wales where we will explore the great Llandaff Cathedral.  The cathedral dates to AD560 when Bishop Teilo established a very simple monastery on the banks of the river Taff.  The Welsh church maintained Celtic traditions which suited their tribal society.  The original building was very small – only 28 feet long, 15 feet wide and 20 feet high.  A new cathedral was built and dedicated in 1266 in the Norman style.  It has undergone many changes including damage from a German land mine in 1941.  We will return to Oxford for our overnight.  Dinner on your own. B

DAY 5, Friday, August 24, 2007 – We drive north today to visit Gloucester and tour its magnificent cathedral, originally built as a Norman abbey church, consecrated in 1100.  The exterior soars to the heavens and the interior is a mishmash of periods, centuries and tastes.  The tomb of Edward II is located here in the cathedral.  We will return to Oxford via the Cotswolds known for their natural beauty, lovely small villages and vast areas of uninhabited space.  Dinner on your own and overnight in Oxford. B

DAY 6, Saturday, August 25, 2007 – We travel to Bath where we will take a walking tour of the town and visit Bath Abbey.  The church is the last of the great pre-Reformation churches built in a straight perpendicular style.  The interior is spacious and has many windows mostly with modern glass.  We continue to Wells, a quiet market town, which is wholly ecclesiastical in origin and development.  The Cathedral Church of St. Andrew at Wells is the oldest surviving English Gothic Church.  The city’s name came from the spring water that bubbles up in St. Andrew’s Well located on the grounds of the Bishop’s Palace.  Our visits continue as we travel to Salisbury where we will attend Evensong services at the Cathedral and have dinner and overnight in Salisbury. BD

DAY 7, Sunday, August 26, 2007 – Salisbury is a historic city with old stone shops and homes.  The Diocese of Old Sarum was transferred to Salisbury in the 13th century.  It is a wonderful walking city with many sites to visit.  We will attend morning services at the Cathedral and then, after lunch, Bishop Alexander will conduct a teaching session.  You will have some free time to explore on your own.  Dinner on your own and overnight in Salisbury. B

DAY 8, Monday, August 27, 2007 – This morning we will get an in depth tour of the glorious Salisbury Cathedral which boasts the highest spire in all of England.  We will see the tombs of many of the crusaders, the spacious Chapter House which contains a 13th century frieze depicting scenes from the Old Testament and the cloisters which are the largest in England.  Here you can also see one of the four original copies of the Magna Carta which was sent here in the 13th century for safekeeping.  We will travel to Winchester which was the center of ecclesiastical, commercial and political power until the 13th century.  As we tour Winchester Cathedral, consecrated in 1093, you will note some of the best surviving Norman architecture in the world.  We will return to Salisbury for our overnight.  Dinner on your own. B

DAY 9, Tuesday, August, 28, 2007 – We depart Salisbury and travel to Rochester, the second oldest see in England.  We will visit Rochester Cathedral, built in the 11th, 12th and 14th centuries on a site that was originally consecrated in 604 AD.  There will be time for lunch here in Rochester before we continue our journey toward Canterbury.  We will stop at Ayelsford, once a major pilgrimage town where we will visit Ayelsford PrioryAyelsford has been a Carmelite Priory since the 13th century.  We will continue to Maidstone where we will see the great church of All Saints and the remains of the Bishop’s Palace.  We make our way to Canterbury, headquarters of the Anglican Church and center of international pilgrimages.  Canterbury became a center for Christianity when Augustine arrived in 597.  We will attend Evensong at the Cathedral and have dinner and overnight in Canterbury. BD

DAY 10, Wednesday, August, 29, 2007 – Today we explore Canterbury.  The Cathedral symbolizes the whole history of English Christianity and of the Anglican Communion.  St. Augustine and his companions brought Christianity back to England.  There were a few Christians already in England including, significantly, Queen Bertha of Kent and the Celtic monks who were bringing the Gospel from the north.  Neither fact diminishes the significance of Augustine’s mission.  It led to the spread of Catholic Christianity in England and to England’s incorporation into Catholic Europe.  Augustine and his companions were Benedictine monks and Canterbury Cathedral was a Benedictine foundation until the Reformation.  Benedictinism was the monastic norm in Western Europe for hundreds of years and has remained extremely influential to this day.  Thomas á Becket and his martyrdom represent an extreme case of the dilemmas of Church and State interactions.  He is himself a remarkable saint with much to teach about living fully into the state in life in which one finds oneself.  Thomas Cranmer is one of the greatest and most famous Archbishops of Canterbury, symbolizing the English Reformation and the Book of Common Prayer.  Last, a visit to Canterbury offers the opportunity to consider the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, and the role of the Archbishop in the Anglican Communion today.  We will visit Canterbury Cathedral, St. Augustine Abbey, which connects the pilgrimage to Augustine and his monastic community itself, and St. Martin’s Church, which pre-dates his mission and gives a sense of Christian faith in ancient times.  We will arrange for a private celebration of Holy Eucharist in one of the side chapels of the cathedral and have time for Bishop Alexander to teach this afternoon followed by some free time.  Dinner on your own and overnight in Canterbury. B

DAY 11, Thursday, August 30, 2007 – We travel to the small village of Charing, where, those who wish, will be able to walk the traditional path of the Old Pilgrim’s Way.  Charing is a small historic village with a pretty parish church and a former Archbishop’s Palace where Henry VII stayed en route to Dover.  The Pilgrim’s Way runs adjacent to the village, partly over the Kent Downs, some gentle hills and pretty tree lined paths.  We can walk part of the way and then drive to Chilham, a small hilltop village where we can have a pub lunch and then drive another short way toward Canterbury to Thannington where we can begin our final walk into Canterbury.  Our coach will travel with us so anyone needing to board may do so.  We will have a “farewell dinner” and overnight in Canterbury. BD

DAY 12, Friday, August 31, 2007 – We will have breakfast in our hotel and then travel to London’s Gatwick airport for our return flight to Atlanta arriving back in the afternoon. BL

Price: $3,699.00.  Price is based on double occupancy without airline taxes and fuel surcharges.  Roundtrip air from Atlanta, GA.  Air transportation available from other cities.

An application for travel insurance will be included with the receipt for your deposit.  We strongly recommend that you seriously consider this coverage.

Other fees
◊ Single supplement: $549.00
◊ Land only: $2299.00

$300 deposit due with application. Final payment due: June 1, 2007

Refund schedule
◊ February 1 - April 1, $200.00 per person
◊ April 2 – June 30, $300.00 per person
◊ July 1 or later, NO REFUND

Meals: B Breakfast, L Lunch, D Dinner, S Snack

The itinerary is subject to change due to local conditions or at the discretion and direction of the leader or guide.