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English Christian Roots: A Pilgrimage for Episcopal Visitors

  • Course Dates: Sun 26 April 2015 to Thu 30 April 2015

A five day pilgrimage for Episcopal Visitors at Sarum College, Salisbury.

Look to the rock from which you were hewn

Programme includes talks and excursions in and around Salisbury, including Salisbury Cathedral and the Magna Carta, Stonehenge, and Sherborne Abbey.

George Herbert

GHwebGeorge Herbert, the 17th Century poet, hymn writer and priest, provides a touchstone for Anglican ministry and spirituality. He lived in Salisbury for the formative part of his life and his living legacy will be brought alive by morning talks and then an afternoon visit to the parish church where he served as priest.

Sonia Woolley is a professional actress and director and works as a free-lance consultant in Voice and Presentation Skills. She has a longstanding interest in the life and poetry of George Herbert and she will introduce Herbert’s life through his prose, poems and the writings of his biographers.

Beth Dodd is Academic Tutor and Director of Studies for STETS, the ordination training course based at Sarum College. She is co-editor of a forthcoming collection of essays on Thomas Traherne and Seventeenth Century Thought (Boydell and Brewer). Beth will talk about how George Herbert’s distinctive poetic spirituality has been read, interpreted and developed by others in the mid to late seventeenth century.

Judy Rees chaired the very popular George Herbert Festival in Salisbury 2014 and is a joint editor of Another Music: Through the Year with George Herbert (RSCM, 2007), a unique publication of hymns that have been composed for the Church’s Year using Herbert’s poems. Judy will host the afternoon visit to George Herbert’s church, St Andrew’s Bemerton, a leisurely 30-minute walk from Salisbury.

Sarum Use and the Book of Common Prayer

Book of Common Prayer_webLike other English Cathedrals, Salisbury Cathedral witnessed dramatic changes in worship in the 16th Century as the newly established Church of England revised the catholic medieval liturgy and published the Book of Common Prayer. Talks over two mornings will introduce the key characteristics of pre- and post-Reformation liturgy in the English church.

Jeremy Davies was Canon Precentor of Salisbury Cathedral for 26 years until 2012, and he will give a taste of what it is was like to attend Mass in the medieval period when the Sarum Use was the norm. Jeremy has participated in a research project on the Sarum Use, entitled The Experience of Worship in Late Medieval Cathedral and Parish Church. This is an ongoing research project initiated at Bangor University, Wales in 2009, as part of the UK-wide research programme exploring Religion & Society. For further details see www.experienceofworship.org.uk.

Gordon Jeanes is an Anglican priest and was formerly Geoffrey Cuming Fellow in Liturgy in the University of Durham and Lecturer in Church History in the University of Wales, Cardiff. Gordon will talk about the chief concerns of Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, the architect of the Book of Common Prayer, and his revision of the medieval liturgy. Gordon’s publications include ‘Cranmer and Common Prayer’ in the Oxford Guide to the Book of Common Prayer (OUP, 2006) and Signs of God’s Promise: Thomas Cranmer’s Sacramental Theology and the Book of Common Prayer (T&T Clark, 2008).


10991306694_cb38208bdd_kThe story of the church in England is visually represented in the design of its buildings. Over the course of two afternoons visitors will be led on a private tour of some of the most significant examples of ecclesiastical architecture in Salisbury and its locality. One afternoon will be a visit to Sherborne Abbey, founded by St. Aldhelm in AD 705. The Abbey has developed from Saxon cathedral to the worshipping heart of a monastic community, and finally, to one of the most beautiful of England’s parish churches.

7989288702_c4d1d5dfe0_oThe second afternoon will explore the religious life of medieval Salisbury with visits to Old Sarum (the site of the first cathedral in Salisbury), Salisbury Cathedral and finally St Thomas’ Church (which houses a Doom Painting dating back to 1475).

The tour guide will be John Elliott who has previously lectured on architectural history at London and Reading Universities. In retirement John has time to pursue his chief passion, introducing people to the living religious history disclosed in church buildings.

Other Visits

Magna Carta
2015 is the 800th Anniversary of the Magna Carta (Latin for ‘Great Charter), one of the most celebrated documents in the history of the English speaking world. Salisbury Cathedral houses one of three original manuscripts in the UK and participants will have the opportunity to view the document and the Anniversary display with an expert guide.

No visit to Salisbury would be complete without a visit to the best known prehistoric monument in Europe, Stonehenge, just 10 miles north of Salisbury. A private tour will be arranged.

Cathedral Close
The College is ideally situated for a ‘twilight’ walking tour of the Cathedral Close. View the Medieval, Georgian and Victorian houses and discover the fascinating history of this little village that nestles in the Cathedral grounds.


Visitors are free to join the Cathedral community for its daily round of worship which includes Morning Prayer with Eucharist and at 5.30pm Evensong led by the Cathedral choir. Praying in this historic and beautiful building links us to our forebears in the faith and the roots of Anglicanism. Each day will conclude with a short service of Compline in the 19th Century Chapel of Sarum College.


Sunday 26 April
Free day to acclimatise
Twilight tour of The Close (Br Patrick)

Monday 27 April
Morning – John Elliott (introductory session on visits)
Afternoon – Visit to Sherborne Abbey with John Elliott (leaving with packed lunches at 11am)

Tuesday 28 April
Morning – Sarum Use (Jeremy Davies)
Afternoon – Visit to Old Sarum, Salisbury Cathedral and St Thomas’ Church (John Elliott)

Wednesday 29 April
Monday – Cranmer and BCP (Gordon Jeanes)
Afternoon – Visit to Stonehenge (late afternoon; arranged by Sarum)*

Thursday 30 April
Morning – George Herbert (Sonia Woolley and Beth Dodd)
Afternoon – Visit to St Andrews, Bemerton (Judy Rees)

The evenings would be free time and include Compline in the Chapel at 9.30pm.
Note: Magna Carta viewing yet to be timetabled. *Stonehenge visit will cost approximately £30 per person.

Daily Services at the Cathedral
7.30am – Morning Prayer with Eucharist
5.30pm – Evensong


US contact: Maureen Lyons. Email mlyons424@comcast.net
UK contact: Christine Nielsen-Craig. Email cnc@sarum.ac.uk

Course Details

Sun 26 April 2015
Thu 30 April 2015
£750 – £1200
Event Category:

Sonia Woolley, Beth Dodd, Judy Rees, Jeremy Davies and Gordon Jeanes
Please Note:
The timing, speakers and guides for this tour are all correct at the time of printing. Some adjustments may have to be made in the interim, causing some slight changes to the programme.