Berkeley Seniors Make a Pilgrimage to Anglicanism’s Home

April 13, 2018

Wells, Jazzy Bostock, Ben Wyatt, Victor Gan, Zak Fletcher, Prof. Felicity Harley-McGowan; 3rd Row, L-R, Greg Johnston, Sam Ernest, Steve Nagy, Nathan Empsall,  Ed Watson, Brandon Ashcraft, Cathedral Dean Robert Willis, John Hunt, Graham Marsh. For seniors the spring pilgrimage is one of the most anticipated and meaningful highlights of their Berkeley experience, for both the camaraderie and the exposure to some of Christianity’s holiest sites. In early March, twenty-five members of the Class of 2018 had a complete tour of Canterbury and surrounding historic monuments to the faith.

From the Church of St. Martin, the oldest church in the English-speaking world, where the Kentish queen Bertha welcomed Augustine in 596 CE, to the towers and hidden recesses of the Cathedral, seniors learned about the Church’s past and the modern-day progress in protecting and restoring these ancient sites. Special treats were personal time with Cathedral Dean Robert Willis and worshipping with Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. 

The group also enjoyed a day trip to Coventry where they experienced the moving testament to the spirit of reconciliation at Coventry Cathedral. At the conclusion of their pilgrimage, many seniors stayed on for a week in Britain or other parts of Europe before returning to Berkeley for Holy Week and the final weeks of Spring Term.

Lessons from the past and present: Midway through their pilgrimage, seniors visited Coventry, site of the Gothic cathedral destroyed in 1940 and its modernist successor completed in 1962, which together stand as a monument to the spirit of peace.  Berkeley is a member of The Community of the Cross of Nails, an international ecumenical group dedicated to the ministry of reconciliation.