Pilgrimages and Retreats

Situated directly opposite Durham Cathedral, St Chad’s is an ideal base for a pilgrimage to the many holy sites of Celtic North East England. The College has considerable experience in organising pilgrimages on behalf of visiting groups, and can do so to suit any particular length of stay and budget.

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In addition to the Cathedral itself, which contains the tombs of St. Cuthbert and the Venerable Bede, Durham is ideally situated for visits to many of the other key sites in the region.

Amongst the most popular and important sites is the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, separated from the mainland by a tidal causeway. It was here that St. Aidan established his monastery at the request of the Christian king, Oswald, in 635AD. Although there are no traces of Aidan’s monastery extant today, it was replaced by a Benedictine priory in the 12th Century, the remains of which are one of the many special places to visit on the island.

Another major site is at Jarrow, where Bede lived and worked for his entire adult life. The church of St Paul in Jarrow is built alongside the monastic ruins of Bede’s monastery, and incorporates the Saxon chancel as part of the church. Jarrow is also home to Bede’s World, a remarkable museum, which tells the story of Bede, and gives visitors a very good idea of what monastic life would have been like in the seventh and eighth centuries.

Visits and tours of these sites, and many other historic places (including Hexham, Ripon, York, and the ruined abbeys of Fountains, Whitby and Rievaulx) can be arranged to suit particular itineraries. Opportunities and materials for worship can also be offered (most of the churches of interest are very happy to make provision for pilgrim groups to hold their own service in the church), as well as all necessary practical arrangements for such trips.

We can also help groups make arrangements to visit Iona, the cradle of Celtic Christianity in Britain; Iona is a magical place, and is an ideal beginning for a 7 to 14 day pilgrimage.

In partnership with Durham Cathedral, St Chad’s College hosts a Holy Week Retreat each year.

St Chad’s College and Durham Cathedral also host a Benedictine Week each year. Please click here for a brochure and a booking form: Benedictine 2017

If you would like to discuss the possibility of arranging to bring a pilgrim group to these special places, please contact the Conference Office.