Day 1:Departure from the USA
Had we been master of such a servant, we would rather have lost the best city of our dominions than such a worthy councilor (Emperor Charles V when learning of the execution of St. Thomas More).
Our tour begins with an overnight flight to London, England.
Day 2:London (D)
St. Thomas More was greatly admired by the Anglican writer, Jonathan Swift, who wrote that More was “a person of the greatest virtue this kingdom ever produced.”
Upon arrival in London we will be greeted by our local Faith Journeys Tour Manager for an orientation tour of the city which includes views of Kensington and Kinghtsbridge, London’s West End, the Marble Arch, Hyde Park including its Speakers Corner, Pass Whitehall and Trafalgar Square with Nelson’s Column, Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, and Buckingham Palace.
Time at leisure to take in a museum, enjoy a shopping excursion, or simply sit quietly at an outdoor venue to absorb the energy and atmosphere of this “flower or all cities,” as described by William Dunbar.
Dinner and overnight will be at the hotel in the London area.
Day 3: London (B,D)
He may come to be counted the greatest Englishman, or at least the greatest historical character in English history (The English Roman Catholic writer, G.K. Chesterton, regarding St. Thomas More).
We begin the day with a tour of London including St. Paul’s Cathedral, designed by Sir Christopher Wren (its enormous dome is among the highest in the world second only to St. Peter’s in Rome).
We’ll also visit Westminster Cathedral, Westminster Hall, St. Thomas More’s home and estate along the Thames
Also Upper Cheyne Row to visit the Church of Our Most Holy Redeemer and St. Thomas More.
We’ll also see St. Thomas More’s birthplace and the school where he studied law.
Tonight we’ll enjoy dinner at a local restaurant and another overnight stay in the London area.
Day 4: London (B,D)
In 2000, Pope Joh Paul declared More the “heavenly patron of statesmen and politicians…”
Today we’ll first visit Lambeth Palace, the official London residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury in England.
We’ll also take in the Tower of London where famous figures including Thomas More, Anne Boleyn, Sir Walter Raleigh, and Elizabeth I were all held within its walls and some, including Thomas More and Anne Boleyn, were executed.
After a full day and much to consider, we’ll gather for dinner and once again enjoy another overnight in the London area.
Day 5: Oxford (B,D)
Plato by a goodly similitude declareth, why wise men refrain to meddle in the commonwealth. For when they see the people swarm into the streets, and daily wet to the skin, and yet cannot persuade them to go out of the rain, they do keep themselves within their houses, seeing they cannot remedy the folly of the people (Utopia: Concerning the Best State of a Commonwealth, Thomas More)
Today we take a full-day excursion to ancient Oxford, the beautiful “City of Dreaming Spires.”
We’ll visit Christ Church Cathedral, the smallest cathedral in England and the seat of the Bishop of Oxford. Originally St. Frideswide’s Priory, this cathedral played an interesting part in the series of events which would surround the life and death of Thomas More who was arrested for treason and executed for publicly refusing to uphold Henry’s annulment from Catherine of Aragon.
After a full day in Oxford, we’ll return to London for dinner and another overnight stay.
Day 6: Windsor Castle (B,D)
For men use, if they have an evil turn, to write it in marble: and whoso doth us a good turn, we write it in dust (Richard II and His Miserable End, Thomas More).
Today we’ll find ourselves in Windsor Castle, a medieval castle and royal residence in Windsor in the county of Berkshire.
The Castle also includes the 15th century St. George’s Chapel.
King John used the castle as his base during the negotiations before the signing of the Magna Carta.
From Windsor Castle we’ll head to Hampton Court, a royal palace located 11 miles southwest of Charing Cross and upstream of Central London the River Thames.
Tonight we’ll enjoy another dinner and overnight in London.
Day 7: Canterbury (B,D)
Trouthe is the hyeste thing that men may kepe (Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales, “The Franklin’s Tale,” I. 1479).
Today’s desitnation is Canterbury, thought by many as the spiritual capital of England.
Augustine became the first Archbishop of Canterbury in the year 598 and is considered the “Apostle to the English.”
Experience the majestic architecture and rich history of Canterbury Cathedral, one of the oldest and most famous Christian structures in England.
See the stained glass windows depicting the Miracles of St. Thomas Becket.
St. Thomas Becket, another Archbishop of Canterbury, was murdered in the cathedral in 1170 at the hands of the king’s knights. Miracles were reported around his tomb almost immediately and it soon became one of the most important pilgrimage destinations in Europe.
Time permitting, we’ll also tour St. Dunstan’s Church, and Anglican parish church in Canterbury and the final resting place of the head of St. Thomas More.
After our guided tour of the Canterbury Cathedral and St. Dunstan’s Church, we’ll have some free time to explore Canterbury before returning to London for a farewell dinner and our last overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 8: Return Home
Historian ugh Trevor-Roper said in 1977 that More was “the first great Englishman whom we feel that know, the most saintly of humansits, the most human of saints, the universal man of our cool northern renaissance.
With hearts full of gratitude and memories for a lifetime, we transfer to the London airport for the return flight home to the USA
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