Christ Church Logo

8:00 AM Chapel • 10:30 AM Markley Chapel • 10:30 AM Church with Live Stream • 5:00 PM Chapel

Grace & Gardens in England’s ‘Green and Pleasant Land' - September 7-19, 2024

12 12 2023

Grace & Gardens in England’s ‘Green and Pleasant Land' - September 7-19, 2024

Led by:
The Rev. Dr. Harrison McLeod
The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D.
The Rev. J. Barney Hawkins IV, Ph.D.

Reservations open January 2024.

In September of 2024 I have the wonderful opportunity to co-lead a pilgrimage to England. This custom pilgrimage is titled Grace and Gardens in England's ‘Green and Pleasant Land’ and will be September 7-19, 2024.

Grace and Gardens is a behind-the-scenes opportunity to share unique experiences in beautiful settings with fellow parishioners. Joining me, and organizing the details of this trip, will be The Rev. J. Barney Hawkins IV, Ph.D. Director of the Historic Bicentenary at Virginia Seminary, and a Greenville native. Also accompanying us to his native home land will be The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D., Dean & President of Virginia Theological Seminary (where I earned my Doctor of Ministry degree).

Among the many unique opportunities our tour will include lunch in the Jerusalem Chamber of Westminster Abbey which is not normally open to the public. The Jerusalem Chamber is where a small group read aloud the King James Version of the Holy Bible, as it was being edited. While in London, we will also see the Christopher Wren model of St. Paul’s Cathedral. We will receive a special welcome with lecture by the Dean, the Rev. Canon Mark Oakley, at Southwark Cathedral (Roman and Medieval) on the south bank of the River Thames.

Leaving London, we will enjoy the hospitality of the Dean of Canterbury Cathedral. After dinner in the Deanery, we will take a candlelit pilgrimage to the Shrine of Thomas Becket in a dark, closed Cathedral. While in Canterbury, we will take a short coach ride to Sissinghurst Castle Gardens in Kent. This Vita Sackville-West garden took shape in the 1930s.

While in Cambridge we will go punting on the River Cam. At the nearby quaint village of Little Gidding, made famous by T.S. Eliot in the Four Quartets, we will have a celebration of the Holy Eucharist at St. John’s (Little Gidding Church) with the sermon by the widely acclaimed poet and priest, Malcolm Guite.

The last four nights will be in the Lygon Arms in the Cotswolds. This luxury inn with its fascinating 600 years of history will be our base for a Shakespeare play in Stratford and visits to the gardens of Hidcote Manor and King Charles III’s Highgrove.

The cost for the pilgrimage will be $7,850 excluding round-trip airfare. For a more complete itinerary click here or scroll down to view it on this page. In order to provide the best experience to our group we will limit participation to 30 and I expect spaces to fill quickly. The Rev. Barney Hawkins and I will host an information session very soon in the New Year for those interested participating in this pilgrimage. More complete information and a reading list will follow.

Please consider joining me on this special pilgrimage to England next year! It promises to be a unique opportunity to experience England and explore our Anglican faith and history. Reservations will open in January of 2024.

Wishing you a blessed Advent as we await the coming of Christ into our hearts and lives.


Pilgrimage Itinerary


Saturday, September 7

Arrival The Rubens at the Palace Hotel, overlooking Buckingham Palace and close to Victoria Station

4:00 pm A walking orientation of the area beginning from the lobby of the hotel for those who wish to join.

7:30 pm Welcoming dinner (included) and remarks from Dean Markham, “Introduction to Anglicanism and England;” and Dr. Hawkins, “A Theology of Pilgrimage.”


Sunday, September 8

8:00 am Breakfast (All breakfasts are included.)

11:00 am The Holy Eucharist at Westminster Abbey (a short walk) or a parish church of your choice.

Afternoon and evening are free for museums such as The Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace; shows in the West End; and gardens, such as Kensington Gardens or Queen Mary’s Rose Gardens.

5:30 pm Dinner at a quintessential English pub (included)


Monday, September 9

6:00 am Breakfast

7:30 am Optional Matins and garden walk at Lambeth Palace

12:30 pm Visit to Westminster Abbey and lunch in the Jerusalem Chamber (included). Tours the garden and the archaeology site for the new King Charles III Sacristy building which will be the first major building in the country to be named after the new King.

5:00 pm Evensong at Westminster Abbey.

Evening free


Tuesday, September 10

8:00 am Breakfast

9:00 am Take the Underground from the Rubens to St. Paul’s Cathedral

10:00 am Tour of St. Paul’s Cathedral

Afternoon FREE in London for lunch, museums, theater and shopping, with or without guides.

3:00 pm Optional Gather at the Shoppe and garden of Robert Kime, interior decorator for Clarence House and Highgrove, homes of King Charles. London Showroom, 190-192 Ebury St, London SW1W 8UP, UK

Evening Free


Wednesday, September 11

8:00 am Breakfast

9:00 am Pick up from the Rubens and transfer with luggage to The Abode in Canterbury. Please note: because the entrance to The Abode is on a pedestrian street, there will be a two minute walk from coach to the hotel. Lunch on your own as you explore Canterbury, a cathedral city in southeast England which was a pilgrimage site in the Middle Ages. We will also marvel at the Cathedral, dating from 597AD when Augustine, sent by Pope Gregory the Great arrived on the coast of Kent as a missionary.

5:15 pm Meet at Canterbury Cathedral for Evensong, which begins at 5:30pm

5:30 pm Evensong at Canterbury Cathedral

6:30 pm Reception in the Campanil Gardens

7:00 pm Dinner at The Refectory Restaurant at the Canterbury Cathedral Lodge followed by candlelit walk in the dark Cathedral with vespers at the shrine of the martyred Thomas Becket who was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1162 until his murder in 1170.

9:30 pm Walk back to The Abode


Thursday, September 12

8:00 am Breakfast

9:30 am Travel by coach to nearby Sissinghurst Castle Garden, a famous 20th century garden with its series of ten smaller “garden rooms,” created by Vita Sackville-West.

10:30 am Guided tour of Sissinghurst Castle Garden

12:00 pm Lunch at the Upper Granary Restaurant (included)

2:00 pm Depart Sissinghurst with time to explore Canterbury: St. Augustine’s Abbey, Westgate Towers, The Crooked House


Friday, September 13

8:00 am Breakfast

Transfer from Canterbury to Cambridge and the University Arms Hotel. Enjoy punting on the River Cam or exploring the glories of this university city. Cambridge University (1209) colleges include King’s, famed for its choir and towering Gothic chapel, as well as Trinity, founded by Henry VIII and St. John’s with its 16th century Great Gate.

7:00 pm Dinner with The Canon Rev. Mark Oakley in the Wordsworth Rooms of St. John’s College (included)


Saturday, September 14

8:00 am Breakfast

9:00 am Travel by coach the 30 miles to Little Gidding, near Sawtry within Huntingdonshire. Little Gidding was the home of a small Anglican religious community established in 1626 by Nicholas Ferrar. In the 20th century, the poet T. S. Eliot was inspired by the legacy of Little Gidding and incorporated historical elements and symbols of it into his poem, “Little Gidding,” as part of his collection Four Quartets (1945). There will be a service in St. John’s Church and our guest preacher will be the poet-priest Malcolm Guite.

10:30 am Eucharist in the Little Gidding St. John’s Church with guest preacher will be the poet-priest Malcolm Guite, followed by lunch at the Ferrar House.

12:00 pm Lunch of soup, rolls, coffee, tea and pudding at Little Gidding (included)

1:30 pm Return to Cambridge

Evening Free


Sunday, September 15

7:00 am Breakfast

8:00 am The Holy Eucharist at King’s College, Cambridge.

9:30 am Transfer from Cambridge to Broadway and the Lygon Arms, a refined 17-century hotel in one of the most beautiful Cotswold villages. Free day to explore on your own, the Lygon Arms and the charming village of Broadway.


Monday, September 16

8:00 am Breakfast

9:00 am Travel to Oxford, “City of Dreaming Spires,” with its 38 colleges.

10:30 am Morning free to walk the streets of Oxford.

11:35 am Meet at Magdalen College for afternoon events

12:00 pm Lunch in the Terry Newport Room at Magdalen College, and short presentation on C.S. Lewis followed by a College walking tour.

1:00 pm A walking tour with the C.S. Lewis Society.

4:00 pm Travel back to Lygon Arms and

Evening Free


Tuesday, September 17

8:00 am Breakfast

9:30 am Travel the 30-minute journey to Stratford-upon-Avon, a medieval market town in England’ West Midlands and the 16th century birthplace of William Shakespeare. After a matinee play, we will return to the rural beauty of the Cotswolds and the Lygon Arms.

Evening Free


Wednesday, September 18

7:00 am Breakfast

8:15 am Travel to Highgrove or Hidcote Manor, Champagne Tour

6:30 pm Farewell Dinner in Farewell Dinner in Russell’s of Broadway. (included)


Thursday, September 19

6:00 am Breakfast

7:00 am Transfer to Heathrow for flights home with memories for a lifetime!