Jan. 2 [Thur.]Depart from your home city to London.
Jan. 3 [Fri.]: Arrive in London and transfer via train from to London from Heathrow. We ask that all participants arrive by 11:00AM January 3rd. Each participant will transfer on their own to our Hotel via train and taxi. We will depart on a city tour of London at 1:00PM. for a tour of St. Paul’s Cathedral and include a driving tour of central London and time permitting the British Museum. Dinner and overnight at our hotel, The Beauchamp Hotel in Russell Square.Dinner at the British Museum.
Jan. 4 [Sat.]: Canterbury 8:30AM.We depart early this morning to the Cathedral City of Canterbury for a walking tour and a visit to the Cathedral. Morning tour of Canterbury, beginning with St. Martin's Parish Church, the oldest church in continual use in the British Isles. Follow the route of the Canterbury pilgrims down the hill to the ruins of St. Augustine Abbey and on to the magnificent Cathedral and the site of the martyrdom of St. Thomas Becket. We'll have lunch on our own, in one of Canterbury’s wonderful Tea Rooms or pubs then continue back to London where you will be free to explore London’s restaurants or perhaps enjoy a theater performance.
Jan. 5 [Sun.]: High Mass at All Saints’ or Low Service at All Souls. This afternoon we will depart London for Norwich at 1:00PM, we will stop at Ely Cathedral en route. Ely was founded as an Anglo-Saxon convent of nuns by St. Ethelthryth on a remote island in marshland that was inhabited by eels--hence "the isle of eels" now known as Ely. After the Norman Conquest it was re-established as a Benedictine monastery and seat of a bishop. Unlike Norwich, which grew into an important city in the middles ages, Ely remained a small town. It thus will give us the flavor of what Norwich was like before it became a "boom town" in the 14th and 15th centuries. We arrive in Norwich and settle into our hotel, The Premier Inn Norwich, which will be our home for the next eight nights. Dinner is included this evening. Dinner at the hotel.
Jan. 6 [Mon.]: Orientation to the Cathedral and to the walled city and its 50+ churches. As with every day this week, we will begin with Mattins and Mass in the Cathedral followed by breakfast in the refectory. The morning will be spent in the Cathedral Cloister, with introductions to the Cathedral Dean and Chapter, the history of the city and the cathedral; After lunch in the Refectory we will spend the afternoon touring the city and using it as our ‘textbook’ for understanding what life was like for both laity and clergy in the middle ages. We will begin at the castle of the local Lord , proceed along the streets lined with the guild halls and houses of the merchants, and follow alleyways to view the cottages of laborers Each of these social groups had their parish churches, and we see how deeply interwoven parish and family was in these communities. After Evensong and dinner the evening will be free.
Jan. 7 [Tues.]: Medieval lay piety in later medieval England. Mattins and Mass in the Cathedral, followed by breakfast in the Refectory. The morning will be spent discussing the Church in the middle ages—the baron in his castle, the bishop in his palace, the monks in the cathedral, the friars and other religious in their various convents, as well as the lives of common people in their parishes. Lunch in the Refectory. During the afternoon we will walk the city to investigate some of the institutions we discussed in the morning. In particular, we will visit the Great Hospital and its parish church and the vast Dominican friary. In situ, we will discuss the theology and piety related to death and dying [God's punishment of sinners, Last Rites, Penance, Purgatory, Requiem masses, and Indulgences] We will then return to the Cathedral for Evensong and dinner.
Jan. 8 [Wed.]: Pilgrimage to Walsingham and its environs. Mattins and Mass in the Cathedral, followed by breakfast in the Refectory. After breakfast a bus will arrive at the Cathedral to take us into the countryside to see several rural villages and their parish churches before we arrive at the pilgrimage shrine of Walsingham. We will be greeted by the Shrine’s staff, have the privilege of praying inside the Holy House, and learn about medieval and modern views on devotion to the Virgin Mary. After a private lunch , there will be time to explore the various sites in and around the Holy House. As all good pilgrims do, we shall go to local pub, in continuous use since the 12th century, for a pint of ale and a traditional East Anglian dinner.
Jan. 09 [Thurs.]: Monks, Mendicants, and Mystics. Mattins and Mass in the Cathedral, followed by breakfast in the Refectory. Our focus today will be on the liturgy and piety of monks and mendicants. In the morning we will discuss the Rule of St. Benedict, its variations [such as the Cluniacs and the Cistercians], and how the monastic life was actually lived-out at Norwich Priory before the Reformation. We will visit the Cathedral archives to see books and documents written and/or read by the monks. The Canons of today will share with us how the life of the present-day Cathedral Chapter continues to live out the Benedictine ethos in the 21st century. After lunch in the Refectory we will spend the afternoon touring every part of the Cathedral and Close and their environs. After Evensong and Dinner we will have the privilege of spending the evening with Fr. Robert Freuhwerth, a former monk who is a noted spiritual director, author and authority on Julian of Norwich.
Jan. 10 [Fri.]: A mystical and iconographical mystery tour of the East Anglian countryside. Mattins and Mass and breakfast in the Cathedral. At 9:30 a bus will pick us up to tour number of parish churches which still retain their medieval glass, rood screens, chantry chapels, and the like. We will also visit Castle Acre Priory [Cluniac}, the Castle, and the local parish church to see the interaction of Lord, Cleric and Peasant in one locality. Canon Haselock will be our tour leader on thus magical mystery tour; he is a noted scholar and author in all aspects of medieval art in England. We will return to the Cathedral for a gala dinner that will include invited guests.
Jan. 11 [Sat.]: A day of personal exploration. You are on your own today for meals. Mattins and Mass will be available, as usual in the Cathedral. Today you may decide to take a side trip to area places of interest, such as Boston, Kings Lynn or Cambridge. The railway station is adjacent to our hotel. You may decide to explore some personal interest in more detail, such as spending time in St. Julian's Cell or returning to a local site that has especially interested you.
Jan. 12 [Sun.]: Full day of participating in services at the Cathedral: This is our final day in Norwich. We will spend the day mostly in the Cathedral, from Mattins to Evensong, including our breakfast and lunch. After Evensong we will return to our hotel for a final dinner together.
Jan. 13 [Mon.]: We will depart via coach for London early this morning. All airline reservations must be made for departures from Heathrow at 12:00PM or later. We will have a very early departure at 6:30AM – (time may change due to any weather that could make the transfer time from Norwich to Heathrow longer.) Transfer by private motorcoach and arrival at Heathrow 9:00AM (Please plan to eat on your own at the hotel for breakfast).
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