Pilgrimage Opportunities

For more than two decades the UUPCC Pilgrimage Service has helped to cement the bonds between North American UU's and their overseas partners.

In recent years, we have expanded our pilgrimage opportunities to meet the needs of individual UUs of all ages. These offerings are for those who wish to meet the Unitarians and Unitarian Universalists in other countries, even if your church is not partnered.  Experience our faith in action in different cultures. Every pilgrimage includes personal contact with local congregations where you will have the opportunity to worship in the local tradition. Local guides provide historic insights to each country's religious history. Your journey includes cultural highlights along with many personal connections. Pilgrimages are well-structured to include all ground transportation, airport pick-up and drop-off, hotels/guest houses, meals, admission fees, guides, and translators.
Note that before registering, ALL travelers must read and agree to the UUPCC TRAVEL WAIVER

PRIVATE TRIPS

Private trips are organized by congregations, youth groups, choirs, or other interested parties. These groups consist of 5 - 40 travelers. To learn more about organizing a pilgrimage for a group, visit the Planning a Pilgrimage page.  NOTE: If you are registering for a private pilgrimage, you will receive a registration link from your group coordinator.

PREVIEW SOME OF OUR 2020-2021 PILGRIMAGES

Roots Pilgrimage (July 2020) 
A unique opportunity to explore one’s own faith, participants will connect deeply with kinfolk in faith. North American UU’s will join their Transylvanian Unitarian partners and together will explore shared Unitarian religious heritage and spiritual, cultural, and theological beliefs, values and traditions. Panel discussions, lectures, small group conversations and spiritual practices will help participants explore large spiritual themes: birth/origin, development through relationship, finding fulfillment in life, and death/grief. Open to both laity and clergy.  Pre and post-trip extensions may be available. 

2020 International Youth Camp and Pilgrimage (July 26-August 1, 2020)
Open to high school youth, the camp is a collaboration between the Unitarian Universalist Partner Church Council and the Hungarian Unitarian Youth organization. The trip will include traveling to important Unitarian sites, spiritual development and exploration, attendance with Transylvanian youth at a Unitarian summer camp, and a joint service project: Details will be available by General Assembly in June 2019.  Click here for the Youth Application form

(NEW) Wales (August 6-14, 2020)
The UUPCC’s first-ever pilgrimage to the unique Wales Unitarian congregations and their rich culture and history. The trip will begin with participation in the National Eisteddfod, an annual celebration of the language and culture of Wales that was revived in 1861 in part by Unitarians. The trip will include visits to several Unitarian chapels, home stays with Welsh Unitarians, and enjoying the beauty of Wales. 

(NEW) England (February 2021)
British Unitarians trace their roots back to the mid seventeenth century, and today there are more than 170 congregations scattered throughout the country.  This tour will be an introduction to our fellow English-speaking co-religionists, including a weekend attending the Festival of Unitarians in the South East, a weekend packed with great programs an excellent way to meet and mingle with more than a hundred activists from the London area and beyond.  We will visit Dr Williams' Library, the world's foremost repository of liberal religious literature, Harris Manchester College in Oxford, and Great Hucklow, the Unitarian Holiday Center in the heart of the stunning Peak District countryside.  For those with partner congregations in Britain, there will be a chance to visit them also.  Our guide will be Rev. Dr David Usher, a Unitarian minister who has served congregations in Britain and the States and has experience leading numerous UU tours in the past.

(check back for additional trips and information)
 

CURRENT  PUBLIC  PILGRIMAGES:

NE India 2020 Khasi Hills + 2 pre-trip extensions: Golden Triangle and Varanasi
NOTE: If you have mobility issues, some of our partner countries may be challenging to visit. Learn More.
Registration closes: 
November 5, 2019 - 9:45pm
Price: 
$1629/person - main trip (double occupancy)

Experience this unique outpost of Unitarianism and enjoy the gracious hospitality of the Khasi people. Based primarily in the city of Shillong, the trip features visits to significant Unitarian sites of North East India such as the Annie Margaret Barr “Children’s Village” in Kharang, and the historic Jowai church. Other stops include a working tea plantation, Monolith Park, and two nights in the spectacular Cheeripungee Gorge with guided hikes to the Khasi "Living Bridges” and an opportunity to order custom-made clothing.  Participants with partner churches in NE India will visit their respective villages for services and home stays where feasible. Travelers may opt to take the ‘Golden Triangle’ extension to Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, and the Varanasi extension.  
This will be the last UUPCC trip led by John Dale & Csilla Kolcsar before their retirement. 

Please review the trip extensions below before registering.

pre-trip1 Varanasi itinerary (March 2 - 5)  

pre-trip2 Golden Triangle itinerary (March 5-12)  NOTE:  a minimum of 10 is required for the Golden Triangle extension, or neither it or the Varanasi extension will be viable. 

The registration link for this trip and both extensions is at the end of the trip itinerary PDF.  

Sept 2019 - Transylvania Thanksgiving Economy Pilgrimage
September 21, 2019 to October 3, 2019
NOTE: If you have mobility issues, some of our partner countries may be challenging to visit. Learn More.
Registration closes: 
July 2, 2019 - 11:30pm
Price: 
base trip $1,145/person + $150 non-refundable registration fee


TWO LIFE-CHANGING WEEKS IN TRANSYLVANIA FOR UNDER $1,300! 

Beginning and ending in Kolozsvar/Cluj, this tour will take you to the region’s most significant Unitarian holy places including Torda, Gyulaferhervar & Deva. You will visit the frescoed Unitarian churches of Szekelyderz (a UNESCO World Heritage site) and Homorodkaracsonyfalva, the spectacular 13th century castle at Vadjahunyad, the Saxon capital of Transylvania, Sibiu, the medieval walled city of Sighisoara/Segesvar, and the Saxon fortress church at Biertan (Segesvar & Biertan are both UNESCO World Heritage sites). You will spend 4 nights in your partner village sharing in the special Transylvanian Thanksgiving celebration, making new friends and revitalizing your partnership. If you do not have a partner in Transylvania, the UUPCC will arrange for you to stay in one of the many beautiful Unitarian villages with other pilgrims. 
This is the same quality pilgrimage that the UUPCC has been facilitating for two decades – at significant savings. To get this low price, we replace some hotels with dorms & guest-houses, substitute village meals for restaurants, eliminate the long van ride from Budapest, and take advantage of “shoulder-season” rates. 

In addition to the main trip, we also offer an optional 4 day/3 night pre-trip extension to Budapest, and/or a 6 day/5 night post-trip extension to Maramures & the Painted Monasteries of Bucovia.

Click to read itinerary with pre & post trips (PDF)

You may Register Here  (Please do not purchase airline tickets until notified that the trip is confirmed with minimum of 5 travelers)

You are welcome to print, post, and circulate this 2019 THANKSGIVING PILGRIMAGE FLYER