Last year, I went on a Pilgrimage to England over the summer. This pilgrimage was the best part of the summer. Our church choir was invited to sing at the Bristol Cathedral. The trip allowed us to go to castles, multiple church services, and spiritual places such as Stonehenge and Tintern Abbey.
My family decided to go to England two days early in order to enjoy more of London. During those two days, the best part of the trip happened, which connected to the spiritual world of the pilgrimage. The best part was seeing the West End production of Les Misérables with my mom. I had seen the stage show three times already, but I had never seen it professionally. It was a dream come true and I knew it was becoming a reality once the lights went off and the music began. Just through the first couple of notes, I knew it was more than I originally excepted. The London production was the most epic powerful emotionally felt experience I ever had with the musical. The emotions were spot on that night and the cast was brilliant. Most of the leads had only been in the cast for about one month when I saw them. I also had an understudy for Jean Valjean, the protagonist of the show. During this production, I finally felt something for Javert, which I thought would never happen because I do not like the character. The show’s plot is story of compassion, forgiveness, sacrifice, humanity, hope, and redemption, which is why the show is so inspirational. I also got the chance to meet the actor who played Vajean and I got my picture taken with him and he signed my playbill. Another thing that made this experience special was that I got to fulfill my dream in the middle of the show’s 30th year.
The day after the show was when the group finally met up. The first thing the group did was visiting Windsor Castle. In all, I saw three castles and the most spiritual one was Chepstow Castle. Each castle brought something special to the pilgrimage. At Windsor, I saw the changing of the guards, which made me feel like a kid again. At Berkley Castle, I dressed up with one of the chorister students. At Chepstow Castle, I saw areas which reminded me of stained glass and I saw areas which looked like crosses.
In total, I went to ten church services. Most of them were at Bristol Cathedral and those were the most special, but it was still enjoyable when we went to services at Westminster, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and Salisbury Cathedral. The reason why seeing the services at Bristol Cathedral was the most special was because my church choir was singing and their songs were gorgeous. The best one was at the very last evensong and when the solos began, I was speechless.
I also loved visiting Tintern Abbey. At first, I did not think there would be anything interesting about the ruins of an old Abbey. But I learned to love it quickly. Exploring it was spiritual to me because at one point, I saw a dove in a corner and I associate a dove with a story in the bible. Both Tintern and Chepstow are in Wales, England.
The big “mountan-top” moment of the show was Stonehenge. I still cannot believe I actually saw that famous place. I quickly noticed how sacred it was. The place was very windy and the windy I felt made me say that the wind was God’s energy passing through me. The clouds also reflected how transforming it is. As you walk around, each view is very different.
It was also the smaller memories that made the trip matter. One of them was hunting for Shaun the Sheep in Bristol. One of the early memories was getting my picture taken at platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross Station. Going to Bath was not a huge favorite part of the trip, but it was more than I thought, but added to the meaning.
Overall, I think that the best part of the pilgrimage was the fellowship among everyone. That was a huge reason why everything was spiritual. The bond the group created was special. It made each memory worth it and made England the best part of the summer. Without the bond, the trip would not have been as spiritual and meaningful. This trip had make me more spiritually strong. I am so glad I got to go on this trip. In total, there were 72 people on the trip.