Pictures from Scotland and England

Iona Pilgrimage 2017

A Pilgrimage to Scotland

Led by:

The Rev. Caroline Kramer
Christ Episcopal Church
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

September 15 – 25, 2017

Trip map

Join us for this amazing pilgrimage opportunity to the birthplace of Celtic Christianity in mainland Britain.  In the sixth century Columba sailed from Ireland to found an abbey on this beautiful but remote island off the West Coast of Scotland.  From there his monks travelled across Scotland and Northern England as missionaries, eventually founding abbeys along the East Coast in what is now Northumbria and Yorkshire.  We will stay at the historic Bishop’s House, the Episcopal Retreat Center on the island which is just a few minutes’ walk from the restored Abbey and the ruins of the priory.

Iona is a place away from the ordinary.  It is referred to by many as a “thin place” a place where heaven and earth seem, somehow, closer together.  This pilgrimage will offer five nights on the island, time to rest and breathe in God more deliberately.  The days will consist of a morning Eucharist, and a brief reflection or study to carry into the day.  Most of the time we will be free to do as much or as little as we want.  Extra teaching or workshop time will be available as needed as will the opportunity for individual reflection on your Christian Journey with a priest if that is something you are looking for.

After our time on Iona there will be a chance to explore the Highlands a little and then spend two nights in Edinburgh.  We will visit Oban, a port town on the west coast of the mainland for a distillery tour.  In Edinburgh we will be free to explore and there will be an option, on Sunday, to take a bus tour to Lindisfarne which was founded by one of Columba’s monks, Aidan.  Lindisfarne was the starting point of many of the Celtic missionary monks in England.

DAY 1: Friday, September 15, 2017 - Depart the Jacksonville, FL Airport for trans-Atlantic flight into Glasgow, Scotland. M

DAY 2: Saturday, September 16, 2017 - Upon arrival in Glasgow, we clear immigration, board our private motorcoach and enjoy a scenic ride across some of the most beautiful countryside of Scotland to Oban.  Dinner and overnight Oban. D

DAY 3: Sunday, September 17, 2017 - This morning we will board the ferry (about a 45 minute ride) to the Isle of Mull.  We board our bus that will take us from Craignure across the largest of the Inner Hebridean Islands, Mull, through the moorlands to Fionnphort where we will board another ferry for a short ride (5 -10 minutes) to Iona, our home for the next five nights.  Iona has been called the entry way of Christianity into Scotland and Northern England.  We begin our exploration of the enchanting Island of IonaIona is the preeminent site “in Scotland.”  A monastery was established by St. Columba in the 6th century and he died here in 597.  The island is a true “thin space” where pilgrims have sensed the nearness of the Holy throughout the ages.  Those who wish may attend evening prayers at the Abbey.  Dinner and overnight Bishop’s House, Iona. BLD

All meals, accommodations, and activities on Iona have been arranged by the group leaders and are not provided by Worldwide Pilgrimage Ministries.

DAY 4 - 7: Monday, September 18, 2017 - Thursday, September 21, 2017- Retreat Days.  We will be free to explore on our own.  Places that may be of interest are St. Oran’s Chapel, built in the 11th century.  Surrounding the chapel is the Reilig Odhrain, the sacred burial ground which is said to contain the graves of 48 Scottish kings including that of Macbeth’s victim, Duncan; Nunnery Church; Church of St. Ronan, the Abbey, St. Martin’s Cross, dating to the 8th century.  It is the finest High Cross in Scotland and is decorated on one side with the serpent-and-boss and on the other with Holy figures.  We can enjoy an optional boat ride to Staffa for a visit to the natural basalt beauty of Fingal’s Cave to see the many varieties of sea birds living here.  Monday night you may want to join in on the fun at the Village Hall for a Ceilidh (pronounced Kay-lee), a Scottish get-together held at 10 PM.  Every Tuesday the Iona Community hosts an “On Road” pilgrimage walk that begins at 12 Noon and returns around 3:30 PM.  It is on a first come basis and you must sign up the day before at the Welcome center.  Each person must sign up in person.  Dinner and overnight Iona. BLD

DAY 8: Friday, September 22, 2017 - Morning prayers and reflection before saying “goodbye” to Iona as we board an afternoon ferry back to the mainland.  Overnight Oban. B

DAY 9: Saturday, September 23, 2017 - Morning visit to Oban Distillery, famous for its single malt Scotch whisky.  Our journey continues as we begin our trek to Edinburgh, driving through the beautiful borders to the Highlands of Scotland and along the shores of one of Scotland’s most scenic and famous lakes, Loch Lomond.  Overnight Edinburgh. B

DAY 10: Sunday, September 24 2017 - Free day in Edinburgh or an optional excursion to Lindisfarne, England where we will be free to explore on our own.  Lindisfarne is known worldwide as Holy Island.  Aidan and his monks came from the Irish monastery of Iona, and with the support of King Oswald (based at nearby Bamburgh), worked as missionaries among the pagan English of Northumbria.  In their monastery, they set up the first known school in this area and introduced the arts of reading and writing the Latin language using the Bible and other Christian books (all in Latin).  They trained boys as practical missionaries who later went out over much of England to spread the Gospel.  Aidan also encouraged women to become nuns and girls to receive education but not in this monastery.  In time, Lindisfarne became known for its skill in Christian art of which the Lindisfarne Gospels are the most beautiful surviving example.  We return to Edinburgh for dinner and overnight. BD

Note: Access to and from Lindisfarne is via a causeway and therefore governed by tides.

Day 11: Monday, September 25, 2017 - Morning departure for Glasgow Airport where we board our flight back into Jacksonville, FL. BM

Price: $3,279.00*.  Air from Jacksonville, FL Airport.

* Pricing does not include airline taxes and fuel surcharges currently at $656.06 per pilgrim and are subject to change until the tickets are issued.  The price is not guaranteed and may change upon confirmation of the air space and due to the fluctuation of the British Pound and the US dollar.  We make every effort to avoid any increase and will only do so if the value of the dollar falls against the British Pound.  Your pricing was based on the exchange rate of $1.43 to the British Pound.  Optional activities and sites visited on free time and while on Iona are not included in the cost of the pilgrimage and are to be paid for at the time of your visit.  Single supplement:  $289.00.

Optional Excursion to Lindisfarne (Min. 10 participants) Transfer only:  $80.00*

Roommate needed.  If a roommate cannot be found, I understand that I will be charged for the single supplement.

A deposit of $900.00 per person due with application and copy of passport by September 1, 2016.

2nd payment of $1,000.00 is due by March 1, 2017.

Final payment due June 1, 2017

Cancellation Penalties
◊ Until February 28, 2017: $900.00 plus any unrecoverable fees.
◊ March 1 to May 31, 2017: $1,900.00 plus any unrecoverable fees.
◊ June 1, 2017 or later: NO REFUND

Terms and Conditions:
◊ 2. Names as on passport.  If name is incorrect and tickets reissued, $50 fee plus change fees from airline.
◊ 3. $100 deviation fee plus any additional airfare, hotel, tour or admission charges.

Worldwide Pilgrimage Ministries provides the following basic travel insurance for you at no additional cost:
◊ Trip Delay - $1,000
◊ Baggage & Personal Effects - $1,500
◊ Baggage Delay - $250
◊ Emergency Medical & Dental Expenses - $25,000
◊ Emergency Medical Evacuation & Repatriation - $150,000
◊ Travel Assistance & Concierge Services are provided By Travelex's designated providers.

It is recommended that you purchase additional coverage. Go to our website and click on Travelex Insurance to read the coverage and rules regarding existing conditions or call 800-228-9792 Location # 09-1983.

Meals: B Breakfast, L Lunch, D Dinner, M Meals on Aircraft

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