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Friday, November 13, 2015

VGEC and FOCCUS Pilgrimage to Canterbury and the County of Kent - July 2016

"A view of the Cathedral-Church of Canterbury in Kent"  by J. Johnson 1654

By Ken Holloway, VGEC News Manager with the Rev. Matthew Corkern, VGEC Chaplain

Subtitled, "A Journey of History, Art, Architecture, Literature, Politics and Religion", the 2016 extended learning experience led by our VGEC Chaplain, The Reverend Canon Matthew T.L. Corkern, is finalizing reservations and travel arrangements for the trip to England during the first ten days of July 2016. This pilgrimage is a joint event through the Vergers Guild of the Episcopal Church (VGEC) and Friends of Canterbury Cathedral in the United States (FOCCUS).

Fr. Matthew is a veteran pilgrimage leader, with significant knowledge of Anglican history. With his pilgrimage experience, you'll find yourself living a tableaux filled with all things Anglican and British. He summarizes this year's itinerary:

"Ancient places tied to St Augustine; vineyards and forests of the Tudor kings; laughter in country-pubs and seaside villages; medieval prophets and pilgrim sites at Chaldon, West Malling, Chilham and Barfreston; the great country-houses and gardens of Kent at Penshurst Place, Walmer Castle, and Churchill’s Chartwell House; Chagall Glass in Tudeley; RAF Folkestone Museum and the White Cliffs of Dover; intimate experiences to explore art, architecture and worship with the scholars and parishioners of our mother-cathedral; Baptismal Renewal at the oldest parish church in England; as well as people and events in and around the cathedral city of Canterbury during Kings’ Week."

Matthew's focus for VGEC travelers is spot-on: "Each setting will allow for an experience not only of learning but also of tranquility... a respite from the frantic pace of modern life... and a chance to joyously laugh with kindred souls!" But please, no virges and no hats!

Fr. Matthew's dedication to pilgrimage ministry is summed by his pledge as Pilgrimage Chaplain and Tour Organizer, "I personally guarantee this spiritual-cultural sojourn, and look forward to sharing this wonderful occasion for faith and fellowship. I feel extremely blessed to be traveling 'The Pilgrim Pathways in Canterbury and the County of Kent' with each of you."

Scott Smith, president of the VGEC has attended several of the VGEC/FOCCUS pilgrimage events over the past several years. He added, "I first went to Canterbury with the FOCCUS group led by Fr. Matthew in June of 2009. I can honestly say that this was one of the most significant experiences of my life. I was the only verger on that trip and I was able to spend time with Chris Crooks, Vesturer and and Head Virger at Canterbury and his team of professional vergers. Words simply cannot describe how much I learned on that one trip, not only about the workings of the Cathedral, but also about how life is today and how it might have been along the Pilgrams' Way so many years ago."

You can contact The Rev. Matthew Corkern at [email protected]. Prices, details, and an expanded itinerary can be found HERE.

Abstract: The Annual VGEC Pilgrimage series for 2016 is entitled The Pilgrim Pathways in Canterbury and the County of Kent . This terrific travel-learning opportunity is in the final stages of planning and reservations, with just a few openings remaining.

1 comment:

  1. Due to a conflict in dates, I am not able to travel with Matthew this year. I am so jealous of those of you who will be able to take this incredible trip to Canterbury and Kent. Scott is right when he say "words cannot describe how much I learned on that one trip". My trip to Canterbury was so fascinating that I'm still talking about the four days I spent at Canterbury Cathedral. If you have the time to travel this summer , I strongly encourage you to take this trip.


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