29 MAY / 11 JUNE 2023: The Youth Group of the London Cathedral organised a pilgrimage to Barking Abbey, in the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, to visit the site of the ancient 7th-century Abbey which for nearly 900 years was an active monastery linked with many of the great Orthodox saints of the pious history of the region.

The original Abbey, the ruins of which are located nearby the newer cathedral, was established by St Erkenwald, who was one of the early Orthodox hierarchs to bear the title ‘Bishop of London’. The monastery was a gift for the saint’s sister, Saint Ethelburga. A litany of saints would be attached to the Abbey over its history, including St Hildelitha, St Wulfhilda, and St Dunstan, who, in the ninth century AD, revised the monastery’s ustav. The Abbey was originally dedicated to the Mother of God, but later was dedicated also to St Ethelburga, and was known as a place of special veneration to St Martha.

A group of pilgrims comprised of members of the London Cathedral youth group made the journey by public transportation, led by Archpriest Yaroslav Gudymenko. At the site they were able to visit the ruins of the ancient monastery, together with the newer buildings on the site, and learn of the history of the place and its Orthodox saints, as well as to offer prayers to these glorious witnesses of the piety of the Orthodox British Isles.