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An English Pilgrimage: Part 1

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Episode 108 • 7th September 2023 • The Living Church Podcast • The Living Church

Join our pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

Why do we go on pilgrimage? For an educational vacation? To get in touch with the past? To walk barefoot to a shrine or encounter a saint? To ask for a miracle? And why, if Christians are going to go on pilgrimage anywhere, do they go on pilgrimage to England?

Yes, it’s a magical land of meat pies, forests, fairies, and saints with a distinctly British flavor. How do our expectations of England, especially for Anglophiles, meet an answer in the actual place?

To go on a pilgrimage is about expectation. In the middle ages, when pilgrims would come from all over Europe to the shrine of St. Edward the Confessor in Westminster Abbey, they would kneel inside a cool cavity carved out of the brilliantly-decorated stone, to get as close to Edward’s bones as they could. Before leaving they’d chip off a tiny bit of mosaic. We go on pilgrimage to stand somewhere in the broken and colorful light of Christian history, and to take away souvenirs, be they answered prayers or vintage prayer books. And we certainly bring expectations.

Today’s episode is a story about expectations and souvenirs – the hoped for, and the found – on an English pilgrimage with a diverse set of American Anglicans. Anglophiles beware. You may get more than you bargained for.

Join our pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

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