churches together in Leicestershire-furthering ecumenical cooperation

Trichy Pilgrimage to South India 2018


south india pilgrimage

Enchanting Pilgrimage: Exploring the Borderlands of Faith and Power
A guided visit to south India in August 2018 or at Easter 2019

The churches in Leicestershire have had an ecumenical link with the Church of South India through the Diocese of Tiruchi-Tanjur (Trichy) for fifteen years now and have hosted many visitors from India over that time in the UK and sent a variety of people in the other direction: clergy on sabbaticals, church leaders, Link group members, young people, for example.

All have found the visit to Trichy inspiring for faith as well as illuminating as to what the reality of daily life is like for communities in the south of India.The Link group would like to take a deeper look at how  the faith we share can be reinforced and extended by a purpose-ful visit and so the plan is to shape a pilgrimage from Leicestershire to Trichy under the leader-ship of Revd Keith Hebden who is Director of the Urban Theology Union in Sheffield, a specialist in Dalit theology, a local to Leicester-shire and who knows India well.

Some words from Keith about his hopes for the pilgrimage are included below.

”Pilgrimage is a privilege and an opportunity.  In a world where so many are fleeing for their lives it is a privilege to be able to travel freely. In a world where people are divided from one another by power and perspective, pilgrimage is an opportunity to explore the boundaries   of human wisdom and the expansive-
ness of God —“a sun without a sphere.”

As we are introduced to people and places that seem both familiar and strange we come to borderlands of what we can know about  ourselves and others. As we peer across the untranslatable space between ourselves and people at the margins we face life's big questions.

A visit to South India is an opportunity to explore our own limits and get to know ourselves in a radical way. More than a trip to visit holy sites of different religions, this is a chance to see how people respond to injustice and how people who are “other” to “us” see the gap between us.

There will be opportunities each day to prayerfully reflect on what God might be doing in an around us as we engage with new people, places and ideas. There will be the privilege of growing as disciples in the company of God and one another.”
This pilgrimage is open to anyone who is interested in exploring faith and context more deeply; there is no requirement for formal theological training or experience!

It will be self-funded and will cost in the region of £1500 per person which will include flights and accommodation and transport (although not visas and medical preparation) and will last about 10 days.

If you are interested in participating, please reply by 16 March 2018 to the Link Secretary, Sheila Yates 
And please also tell us when you would prefer the trip to take place –August 2018 or Easter 2019.
The greater preference will determine the time of this first venture, although we hope that other opportunities will follow