ONLINE at the DURHAM BOOK FESTIVAL Wednesday 14th October 6.30 pm
TOURS: “In The Footsteps of St Cuthbert”
A particularly enjoyable part of researching my Lindisfarne novels has been visiting locations in Northumberland, Durham and the Scottish Borders associated with St Cuthbert. Many of these places are not only fascinating historically but have great spiritual presence. The Footsteps Tours grew out of a desire to share the experience of these places with others. There are no tours scheduled for 2020, but I am happy to organise a customised tour if you have a group who would like to participate.
Past Tours have included…
Four day residential:
The original Footsteps Tour. Two nights on Lindisfarne, starting with a pilgrimage walk across the sands, and with visits to St Cuthbert’s Cave and Inner Farne. From there to St Paul’s Church at Jarrow, monastery of Cuthbert’s first biographer, the Venerable Bede, and Jarrow Hall, home to the Bede’s World museum. Two nights in Durham, with visits to the Cathedral and Open Treasure exhibition, and to Chester-le-Street, home to the Cuthbert Community for 90 years before the move to Durham.
Lindisfarne and St Cuthbert. This can be a two hour visit to Lindisfarne, including an introductory talk, or a full day visit including a visit to St Cuthbert’s Cave and a pilgrimage walk across the sands.
Cuthbert’s early life. We visit the Leader Valley where he grew up, and Channelkirk, said to be the site of his childhood home. We then turn back to Melrose, to view the site of Old Mailrhos where Cuthbert entered his first monastery at the age of seventeen.
Please get in touch if you are interested in participating in, or arranging, a Tour.
TS Eliot writes about pilgrimage like this in Little Gidding:
If you came this way,
Taking any route, starting from anywhere,
At any time or at any season,
It would always be the same; you would have to put off
Sense and notion. You are not here to verify,
Instruct yourself, or inform curiosity,
Or carry report. You are here to kneel
Where prayer has been valid. And prayer is more
Than an order of words, the conscious occupation
Of the praying mind, or the sound of the voice praying.
And what the dead had no speech for, when living,
They can tell you, being dead; the communication
Of the dead is tongued with fire beyond the language of the living.
Here, the intersection of the timeless moment
Is England and nowhere. Never and always.
Four Quartets by TS Eliot