Christ Church is offering its next Choral Pilgrimage to England from August 16-24, 2018 when the Christ Church Choir will be the Musicians in Residence at Bristol Cathedral and Westminster Abbey, singing daily Choral Evensong and the Sunday Eucharist (Bristol Cathedral). Bruce Barber, Director of Music, will lead the choir in their residency, while our Rector, Ruth Beresford, will lead the choral pilgrimage for up to 45 additional travelers to accompany the Christ Church Choir.
What is a Choral Pilgrimage? It is a rich musical and spiritual journey. The purpose of this pilgrimage is to hear some of the finest choirs in England sing Evensong and to explore the cathedrals, chapels, and towns in which they perform. Pilgrims seek an encounter with the holy in the glory of choral music and the spiritual sites of our Anglican heritage. It is also a time to build relationships and share stories with fellow travelers as we bond over shared meals and along England's carriage ways.
Situated at the confluence of the rivers Frome and Avon and chartered in 1155, Bristol is among England's most influential cities. Bristol Cathedral wad first founded as an Abbey, but after the Dissolution of the Monasteries, in 1542 Henry VIII made it the seat for the newly-created Bishop of Bristol and so the cathedral of the new Diocese. From August 16-19, Bristol and her Cathedral will be our spiritual home. The choir will sing Evensong on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and at Sunday morning Eucharist and rehearse daily in the Cathedral's song school and magnificent Choir, a unique "hall church" not found in other English cathedrals.
While the choir rehearses each day, the pilgrims will explore Wales and the West of England, returning for Evensong to worship together. We will visit the region's sacred sites and places of natural beauty.
For the second part of our residency and pilgrimage, the City of London and Westminster Abbey will be our home. Westminster Abbey is located in the heart of London near the River Thames and just beside the Houses of Parliament. Henry III had the Gothic church constructed in 1245 to give a shrine for his favorite saint, Edward the Confessor, who founded the Benedictine Abbey in 1065. William the Conqueror was crowned there in 1066, and it has been the Coronation Church for all English Monarchs since and recognized internationally for its role in the history of English sacred music. All who worship at the Abbey will hear the Christ Church Choir sing four services of Choral Evensong on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.
The choir has Wednesday, August 22 free which allows our whole group to visit Canterbury Cathedral for the day. We will attend Evensong there, before returning to the City. Each day in London the pilgrims and Choir will visit some of the world’s great museums, churches, cathedrals, and Lambeth Palace, home of the Archbishop of Canterbury and center for the Church of England and the Worldwide Anglican Communion. Each night will provide free time for all to enjoy the sights and sounds of the city.
With a maximum of 45 pilgrims accompanying the Choir, we invite you to register as soon as possible. A $400 reservation deposit, fully refundable until December 1, 2017, will hold your place on this pilgrimage. One need not be a member of Christ Church Christiana Hundred to participate in this wonderful pilgrimage. Click here to pay online.
If you have questions about the Choral Pilgrimage and Choir Residency program at Christ Church, please contact Bruce Barber. The next Choral Pilgrimage and Choir Residency is being planned for 2021.