Study Field Trip: Glastonbury 2008/09
Sarah Mullery & Chris Knight, our first year Religious Studies & Religious Education students reflect on our School’s annual Study Field Trip to Glastonbury this academic year.
BA Religious Studies
As a town renowned for its unique history and alternative spirituality, we had high expectations from the very moment the trip was announced. Given the opportunity to visit the goddess temple we met with Georgina, the priestess, who explained what it means to be a member of the goddess temple and its particular significance within Glastonbury itself. This proved to be a great chance to understand alternative spirituality from an individual who proved to be refreshingly open and inviting. After time roaming the towns shops for tarot cards and incense sticks we climbed to the top of the Glastonbury Tor, during which we discovered our lecturer’s terrific fear of heights together with the association of the Tor with the legends of King Arthur and fairies. After a quick master class in the art of dousing (which really works!) it was apparent that Glastonbury had left its mark on everyone.
BA Religious Education
The study day in Glastonbury took place at the beginning of our second semester, preparing us for the term ahead. On the journey down from Carmarthen to Glastonbury, Stephen Gregg gave an informative lecture on what we were going to be seeing. I had never visited the town before and only really thought it was famous for the music festival.
During the day it became clear that Glastonbury has a rich religious history and a vibrant contemporary interest in new religious movements and spirituality. On our arrival we had a quick look around the shops, most of which sold a vast range of interesting religious merchandise and books. The majority of the shops were selling goods relating to the Goddess, as Glastonbury is home to the only officially recognised Goddess temple. We visited this temple and had a really useful talk from an actual priestess.
Following the temple visit, we trekked up to the Tor, which is the unmistakable hill visible for miles around. On the top of the Tor was St Michaels chapel, where we spent a bit of time taking in the view, and learning about the significance of Glastonbury to some Christians.
Glastonbury was a really useful day out, where we were able to witness first hand a wide variety of different religions both co-existing, but also competing in one geographic area.