The pilgrim is humble and devout, and human, and charitable, and ready to smile and admire; therefore, he should comprehend the whole of his way, the people in it, and the hills and the clouds, and the habits of the various cities. Hilaire Belloc
What is a pilgrimage in today’s world? At JC Journey’s we have spent the last decade honing and refining the concept of pilgrimage as we have led our guests on journeys throughout the globe. We understand that in the contemporary society we live in there is an abundance of choices available for the seeker of spiritual experiences. The sometimes overwhelming volume of options can be a confusing minefield of where to go first, what to see and how to travel. We have sifted through the myriad of destinations and ‘pilgrim paths’ by personally taking the journey, meeting the people ‘holding the place’, praying in shrines, chapels and on mountains, finding joy in sacred art of museums, cathedrals and galleries and breaking bread in monasteries and tavernas. We have made it our purpose to seek out destinations that are both well-trodden paths, such as the camaraderie of Spain’s Camino de Santiago and the serenity of the Holy Land’s Sea of Galilee, to lesser known places such as the Christian communities of Kerala, believers since the days in St Thomas first arrived in India in AD50, the Ethiopian Highlands and the glories of the Arctic Circle Northern Lights – each pilgrimage utterly unique from one another but with a common thread of the Christian faith colouring the human story, from visions to miracles, natural creations to saint’s retreats.
A contemporary pilgrimage is far from the traditional imagery of crammed tour buses, Holy Water souvenirs and dormitory-like hotels. We offer an ancient concept with a fresh and relevant concept. We know that today’s spiritual travellers have a need for comfort, for authenticity and for sophistication and from boutique hotels to hi-speed wifi and the most learned guides and speakers, we aim to introduce a new generation of travellers to the joys and power of pilgrimage while providing a sense of style and comfort wherever possible. Conversely, there are also guests who are looking for a break away from the cocooning comforts of their daily lives and long to experience the simple joys of ‘barefoot luxury’ whereby the pilgrimage hums with a sense of the pared back, the echo of dawn chanting, the sunlit courtyard of the hilltop chapel, the warmth of the salty waves…We offer all these and much, much more.
JC Pilgrimages is committed to providing a sense of spiritual direction and each of our tours is, when in a group setting, led by an highly qualified Christian leader who works alongside local hosts, clergy and other figures to provide a seamless and high-quality pilgrimage, dealing with the logistics and minutiae of the trip so that you are free to focus on the experience and purpose of the place. Excellence and attention to detail in all we undertake is key to our ethos and our guests are treated with the utmost respect, sensitivity and love. From parish pilgrimages to solitary journeys of self-discovery, we can provide the perfect programme from departure to arrival to ensure a lifetime’s worth of memories guaranteed.
We are focused on the authentic, the impacting and the memorable – offering pilgrimages with faith at their heart, as well as community. Our small groups of like-minded travellers may start journeys as strangers but in most cases part with deep friendships in place because of the bond of sharing such a powerful mutual experience as a pilgrimage. We love connecting people with places, with stories, and with each other – this is, to us, a true pilgrimage at its heart. Whether dining together on the freshest fish on a Greek beach or reflecting on a scripture passage at the very site of its happening or praying together under the billion stars of the Milky Way in the African bush – A pilgrimage shared is a pilgrimage made deeper. Join us and find a deeper connection – on a journey that starts in a foreign land and ends in your soul.