top of page

An ancient walking pilgrimage in England

The Pilgrim's Way

We are currently planning a pilgrimage to England along the Becket’s Way. Pilgrims for centuries have walked this trail from South London to Canterbury Cathedral. Our trip is planned for 2025 from June 6-16 (11 days / 9 nights). There will be a limit of 30 pilgrims, open first to parishoners of Heavenly Rest. Our next full information meeting is scheduled for August 28.


Please reach out to David Christianson at for more information! 

blank .png

To view our detailed brochure, please click below! 

About Thomas Becket

Thomas Becket was born in London in 1118 to a wealthy Norman family and was educated in England and in France. He then became an administrator for Theobald, Archbishop of Canterbury. Later, he was sent to study law in Italy and France and, after being ordained as a deacon, he was appointed as Archdeacon of Canterbury. His administrative skills eventually brought him to the notice of King Henry II, who, to Thomas’ surprise, appointed him as the Chancellor of England.

He and the King became intimate friends, and because of Becket’s unquestioning loyalty and support of the King’s interests in both church and state, Henry secured Thomas’ election as Archbishop of Canterbury in 1162. Becket, foreseeing a break with his Royal Master, was reluctant to accept. As Archbishop he changed, as he tells us, “from a patron of play actors and a follower of hounds, to being a shepherd of souls.” He also defended the interests of the church against those of his former friend and patron, the King. The struggle between the two became so bitter that Thomas sought exile at an abbey in France.

When he returned to England six years later, the fragile reconciliation between Henry and the Archbishop broke down. In a fit of rage, the King is alleged to have asked his courtiers, “Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest?” Four barons, taking Henry’s words as an order, made their way to Canterbury, and, upon finding the archbishop in the cathedral on December 29, 1170, struck him down with their swords. Later, when the monks of Canterbury undressed Thomas’
body to wash it and prepare it for burial, they discovered that under his episcopal robes their worldly and determined archbishop was wearing a hair shirt. While such a garment hardly proves that a person is a saint,
it clearly indicates that Thomas was motivated in the exercise of his office by far more than political considerations. His final words to the four barons before receiving the fatal blow were, “Willingly I die for the name of Jesus and in the defense of the church". 

Collect for Thomas Becket's Feast Day

O God, our strength and our salvation, you called your servant Thomas Becket to be a shepherd of your people and a defender of your church; Keep your household from all evil and raise up faithful pastors and leaders who are wise in the ways of the gospel; through Jesus Christ, the shepherd of our souls, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

bottom of page