The Next Pilgrimage 2023

The planning of the next Pilgrimage for my church in 2023

Disclaimer this is still a work in process. This is my process of working through the itinerary and allowing the people of the church to explore with me.

This has been canceled until 2024

How to navigate my website
This video is so inspirational for me touching on a lot of the sites I would love to visit as part of the trip.

Dates still tentative not set in stone: May 15th – 24th 2023 or May 31st – 7th June 2023 after Cliff College Festival – the bible school Mark studied at a number of years ago.

Retreat Focus
For those who want to go to Scotland and England, and have an interest in Celtic Christian Spirituality. 
Who desire to walk in the footsteps of men and women that transformed a nation with their influence due to their love of Christ. (St. Cuthbert will be the person of focus on the pilgrimage).

  • 1. The aim is to be immersed in the beauty of nature and location, have the time and space for being still, and draw close to our journey companion, the Spirit. We are on a journey, and daily we enter into a pilgrimage, but at times we are going through the daily grind, and have a need of being in a sacred thin place, having a moment of encounter with God in a sacred space and location. 
  • 2. Go and ponder the thresholds of life, at a stone circle, entering a holy building, or by walk a labyrinth.
  • 3. Have time to Journal the journey, having given time to ponder our thoughts and feelings. Resting in the different experiences, plus reflecting in a different manner by going and taking a photo of a space that has captured your imagination or you have felt a connection to. (This would be one of the activities to try).
A Thin Place – Where heaven and earth touch
Journal the moments on the journey

A Recommendation of Wonder Voyage

A recommendation was given by a friend who went on a pilgrimage this year in September 2022. She used Wonder Voyage.

She had a great experience with them. I would be able to talk with the Wonder Voyage coordinator to customize the pilgrimage to the group’s needs.

This was my itinerary before the idea of Wonder Voyage

  • If we choose to go to the Peak District and Cliff College
  • We will fly from Dayton/Cincinnati or Columbus to Manchester
  • Need transportation from Airport to Cliff College
  • We will depart from Dayton/Cincinnati or Columbus Airport on the 14th of May and enter the UK at Newcastle International Airport on the 15th of May.
  • We will be picked up by Peter Hogg Coach and minibus hire and will be transported to Durham.
  • This is where we will begin our journey at Durham Cathedral. 
  • We will be staying at St. Chad’s which is a stone’s throw away from Durham Cathedral. (St. Chad’s is a University that lets out the rooms when students are off for their summer break). 6th – 8th May- Breakfast provided. Evening meals can be purchased there or eat at a local restaurant. (own expense)
  • The focus will be on the life of St Cuthbert, a person like you and me who was looking to love and serve the Lord.
  • We begin at his final resting place Durham Cathedral and end where his journey began, Old Melrose from where Cuthbert went to Holy Island and served the people in the community, and beyond. Holy Island being the hub.
  • Holy Island in England and Old Melrose in the Scottish Borders are places of significance in Cuthbert’s life.
  • Back to the Newcastle Airport to depart for the USA.

The costs will be flight, vehicle hire, accommodation, food at the restaurant, or self-catering at Holy Island. Then there will be souvenir-buying costs 🙂 The above was before I talked with Wonder Voyage.

A deposit will be required by each participant to secure their position on the pilgrimage of $ amount to be determined. $300-500. (Non refundable).

The participant will be responsible for booking their own flights there and back. To get to the destination at a specific window of time leaving the 14th May 2023 Destination Newcastle International Airport in the morning of the 15th May 2023

A passport has to be acquired for the trip. Give yourself at least 6 months prior to travel to get this organized

Cliff College Festival
The date is selfish on my part – I would like to get to my old school for their annual festival. I could go before the pilgrimage or after the pilgrimage.

I don’t get back to the UK on a frequent basis. The school since I graduated has had a lot of updates that I would like to see them.

The Pilgrimage group may like to experience the festival before going on their pilgrimage journey. This could be a great opportunity to launch the pilgrimage and it is a four-day event but we could choose to go to a part of the event. This is just an option to possibly consider.

The college is in the Peak District in England. The Left photo the original building and right the new retreat center. This is the location that we could stay at. The following retreat group uses Cliff’s accommodation giving a sense of space. Also there is a painting I created in the center in their advertising.

This may not be available because of the festival but is booked in advance we would be part of the festival conference activities.

Frogget Edge up the lane from Cliff College (Peak District)

Weather in May

Weather – Site for further into

Previous Planning for 2022

I communicated with Lester Foster and a friend Tjitske Bongers who led a pilgrimage a number of years ago. Photos are courteous of her, and I give thanks for their use. She recommended St Chad’s College.

Lesley Foster

Conference and College Administrator

St Chad’s College

18 North Bailey

Durham DH1 3RH 

Tel: 0191 334 3337 

Bed & Breakfast at St Chad’s.pdf 2021

Our prices are very competitive and we have gained an English Tourist Board 3 Star rating which is an assurance that our accommodation is comfortable and our service efficient.

Breakfast is served in the Moulsdale Hall. A choice of Full English or Continental style breakfast is available. Our excellent chefs and friendly kitchen staff will be only too happy to help. Packed lunches are available and lunch and dinner can be booked for groups of 15 people or more.

To make a Bed and Breakfast booking, or for more information,  please contact Reception  on 0191 334 3358 or via email at

Durham Cathedral

Durham Cathedral 

St Cuthbert Exhibition


Stop at Alnwick on way to Holy Island

Alnwick Castle

Lindasfarne (Holy Island)

Tide Table July 2022

Due to Covid the plans I had been researching didn’t take place but do look forward to the day that I can experience the and Stay with Scott & Faith Brennan and enjoy their hospitality

From Faith IM Facebook

Hi Mark.  The Community of Aidan Hilda has made quite a shift this year in how we provide accommodation for retreats.  It was decided to close our 6-bed guest house, the Open House, and to provide three self-catering retreat houses instead.  I’ve attached the details of the two 3 bed houses which are currently available.  We will be adding a one-room apartment to this in 2022.  Our max capacity will be 12 people, but that includes some couples sharing double and king-sized beds.  The lounge of the large house (High Rigg) is furnished for groups of 10-12 who are staying in our accommodation.  The kitchen is big enough to cook for a group of that size as well.  The other accommodation we recommend for the retreat is Marygate House, an ecumenical retreat center  However, there are lots of other places to stay on the island.  Basically, depending on your budget you can have whatever you like!  Our houses and the Marygate Centre and super close together and all near to the prayer room and library which will be open every day and available to your group.  There is also a great center, St Cuthbert’s Centre,, if you’d like a bit more space at some point.  Hopefully, this is all helpful.  If you’d like more info please ask or we could connect on Zoom if that’s helpful.  I’m interested, what’s your connection to the Community of Aidan and Hilda?  Every blessing.  Faith.

Richard Brassington

Bookings Secretary

Tel:            01904 793438 / 07963 617071


Post:         26 Woodlea Ave, YORK YO26 5JU


Facebook: The Community of Aidan & Hilda – UK

Lindisfarne Trust is a Registered charity in England and Wales – no. 1092445

Registered Company no. 4170471

Things to Do On Holy Island

  • Visit the Lindisfarne Heritage Centre Museum
  • St Mary’s Church 
  • Explore the many Holy Island shops & art galleries
  • Scriptorium
  • Sample some FREE Lindisfarne Mead in St. Aidan’s Winery
  • Walk around island
  • Explore

 Things to do

Bamburgh Castle??

Things to do

Last Day

From Holy Island early leave to go to Scot’s View – Old Melrose and Melrose???

Then back to Holy Island (All dependant on the tides) Refer to the tide table

Then onto Seahouses

Stroll the beach – Get Fish and Chips – Get the boat to inner farne


Get the boat to take in the Island from a different perspective.


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