A "Thin Places" Pilgrimage

by Fr. Chris Hardman

Celtic Christianity defines a "thin place" as one where heaven and earth meet, where the presence of God is felt. I have visited many "thin places" in Wales, including St. David's Cathedral, Caldey Island, and Mumbles, a little beach community off the coast of the Gower Peninsula. As wonderful as those were, I would still like to see the two most sacred sites of Celtic Christianity, Iona and Lindisfarne. Would anyone else like to visit those sites with me?

With the help of Wyn Gilbert, I have put together a 10 day tour that will go from northern Wales across England to Lindisfarne, north to Edinburgh, and then back west to Iona. Besides Iona and Lindisfarne we will visit several other "thin places" that surround Glasgow, Edinburgh, Chester, Durham, and Lincoln.

This "thin places pilgrimage" would take place this summer either in late June or early July. The cost including airfare, accommodations, transportation, breakfast daily, 4 dinners and 2 lunches, is about $4000 a person. It would be less if we get enough people to go with us. If you are interested and would like more information please email me at jchardman@holycomforter.org or give me a call 847/251-6120 ext. 121

This would not be a vacation so much as a pilgrimage. We would have daily prayers, communion when possible, and time to pray at these sites. We would learn about the lives of the Celtic Saints-Columba, Aidan, Cuthbert, Hilda, and Cedd. We will also explore the life of the Venerable Bede, one of those Anglo Saxons that was greatly influenced by the Celtic Saints, and indeed wrote about many of them in his, The Ecclesiastical History of the English People.

So, all you venerable people out there, give this some thought. Make this a Christmas present to yourself and/or those you love. I know it will be a meaningful and transformative pilgrimage for us all.