Christ is Risen!
Instead of the previously announced day camp, we are now planning a two day family pilgrimage retreat on 12-14th August. We are still hoping that by the next Autumn we will get a sufficiently large team of responsible and enthusiastic volunteers to resume our full scale camp in Summer of 2017. For this year, we are offering the following reduced programme:
The key part of the programme is participation in the Pan-Orthodox pilgrimage to Ilam, which is the place of St Bertram’s hermitage and burial (8th century). In the morning of 13th August divine Liturgy is to be celebrated at the Church of Holy Cross, Ilam, DE6 2FX. Following the Liturgy, we have trapeza/picnic on a large open field nearby. Then, a choice between two short-distance hiking tours is offered. One is uphill to a holy spring. The other one is down to the cave where St Bertram is believed to have stayed. Each group led by clergy will serve a moleben. On the return to the church, evening prayers will be held there and pilgrims will be able to venerate the tomb of St Bertram.
Details for our group: We are leaving our Cathedral (W4 4ED) on 12th August (Friday) late afternoon, driving for about 3 hours to the parish of St Aidan and St Chad in Nottingham. There, we have supper, do evening prayers and rest overnight. Early morning on 13th August (Saturday), we make a short stop at a supermarket to get more food for the picnic, and head to Ilam (1 hour drive). After spending our day in Ilam (see above), we drive (about 1hr30min) to the vicinity of our parish of St Elisabeth (Fr Paul Elliott) where we stay overnight in the hall of an Anglican church (St Andrew’s, West Kirby, CH48 5DQ). In the morning of 14th August, after the morning prayers, we clean our sleeping places, and move to St Elisabeth’s Church CH45 5DE for Liturgy, marking the beginning of the Dormition Fast; have trapeza with the local parishioners. After helping to clean the church, by 2pm we head back to our Cathedral (about 4 hrs drive).
Overnight accommodation: Sleeping on the floor in sleeping bags/inflatable beds, which we bring with us from London (several sleeping bags could be borrowed from our Cathedral or from individual parishioners).
Transport: We use our private cars, cooperating to save on fuel, also taking people who have no cars of their own.
Group size: upto 25 people.
Deadline: until filled to capacity.
Who can join: Our parishioners who agree with the above conditions of the programme, including the conditions of transport, accommodation, and shared trapezas. The main goal of the trip is spiritual, therefore, when deciding on participation, please remember to ask blessing from our parish priests. We are kindly asking our new parishioners willing to join the group to be prepared for a discussion with one of our priests if they have not yet had a chance to get to know you well. It is recommended to make confessions during the week shortly before the pilgrimage, since we may have limited opportunities to do so in the morning immediately before the Saturday Liturgy (e.g. due to a shortage of Russian speaking clergy). Children must be accompanied by a parent or adult sibling, or another guardian as required by law. From our past experience of similar trips, children younger than 10 tend to get too tired of 3 hour driving and field conditions for overnight accommodation. It is strongly recommended to not take children younger than 7. Also, please be mindful that the closing day of the pilgrimage is a fasting day.
Approximate expenses: Overall: 60 pounds per person. It is also recommended to have enough money to be able to make various donations (church candles, notes with prayer requests, plate collections).
If you are willing to join our group under the above conditions (all others may want to go to Ilam on their own), please send a message to Alexey Koloydenko at email@example.com with ‘St Bertram’ in the Subject line. The text of your message should contain 1) full names of every member of your family (or just yourself, if an individual) and age of every child 2) whether or not you would be driving your car, and if so, how many additional passengers you could fit 3) contact phone numbers of the family captain, and times they can be contacted.