Welcome to “The Spreading Flame” tour – visiting intriguing sites in Greece, Turkey and Rome that make the story of the Early Church come alive as we visit and explore many of the places which are familiar names from reading the New Testament.
This innovative tour is led by Revd Mike Fuller – international Bible teacher, retired Baptist minister and teacher of Religious Studies and Philosophy; New Wine speaker; and Tutor in Theology at Trinity Church, Cheltenham.
Mike is an experienced pilgrimage tour leader, and author of the acclaimed “Entire Story of the Bible in Fifty Minutes” teaching material, and “ A Fool’s Guide to the Land of the Book”.
Our tour will include professional explanations of the various archaeological sites; Bible readings and spiritual reflections; and worship together.
Saturday 7th September: Thessaloniki / Kavala
Our direct morning flight from London Gatwick takes us to Thessaloniki, where we will be met by our local agent and continue by coach to the ancient port of Kavala – where Paul first arrived to bring the Good News of Jesus to Europe.
After dinner at our hotel, the evening is free to explore the nearby port area.
Sunday 8th September: Philippi / Athens
We start the day with a short introduction to the Spreading Flame of the Christian Church in the first century. We then walk into Philippi following the ancient Roman Road, the Via Egnatia – as Paul would have done. We view the ancient Agora (where Paul brought freedom to the demonised slave girl); the site associated with Paul’s subsequent imprisonment; and the chapel commemorating Lydia’s baptism. After worship together at the riverside of the ancient city of Philippi, we take an afternoon local flight to Athens – where, after dinner, the evening is free.
Monday 9th September: Athens
We see ancient Athens, including the Acropolis; the museum of the Acropolis; and the “Areopagus” – the location of Paul’s address to the philosophers of the city. The latter afternoon is free; in the evening, there will be an optional brief talk on philosophy in the ancient world, and its connections to Christian faith.
Tuesday 10th September: Corinth / Cenchrae / Patmos
Leaving our hotel, we drive to the ancient city of Corinth (pausing to see the modern Corinth Canal). In Corinth (where Paul lived for 18 months) we see evidence of the synagogue of the time; the “Bema” before which Paul was questioned; the streets where Paul worked as a Tentmaker; and the Acrocorinth, where a Temple overlooking the city had reputedly been a centre for ritual prostitution (which may help us to understand some of the issues in the Corinthian church). We visit the ruins of Cenchrae (the port from which Paul sailed to Ephesus) – where, recalling Phoebe, we reflect on women leaders in the Early Church. In the evening, we take a ferry to Patmos, arriving there in the early morning to our new hotel (there are good restaurants on the ferry, but this evening meal is not included).
Wednesday 11th September: Patmos
After a lie-in and a late breakfast, we visit the cave associated with the Revelation of John, and the Monastery of St John.
Thursday 12th September: Kusadasi / Ephesus / Pamukkale (Hierapolis)
Leaving Patmos on our own small chartered ferry, we cross to Kusadasi (in Turkey). We meet our new local guide, who will show us the ancient city of Ephesus (where Paul stayed for three years, and from which he wrote to the Corinthians). We see the extensive archaeological site, including the Library of Celsus, homes from the Roman period, and the amphitheatre where Paul encountered opposition from those who made representations of the goddess Artemis. Ephesus is the first of the seven churches written to in the book of Revelation, and our reflections will include the message of the Risen Jesus to each.
We then visit the possible last home of Mary, the mother of Jesus, close to the city; and we drive to our new hotel in Pamukkale (near ancient Hierapolis).
Friday 13th September: Laodicaea / Philadelphia / Sardis / Smyrna
Today, we see the cities of three more of the churches of Revelation. Following a brief visit to the World Heritage site of Pammukale, we see the extensive ruins of Laodicaea, including the aqueducts which may reflect the accusation of the church being “lukewarm”. In “faithful” Philadelphia, we see the Acropolis, and consider how the history of the city is reflected in the words of Jesus. At the site of the ancient wealthy and militarily impregnable - but “lifeless” - Sardis, we reflect on the links between the city’s industries and idolatry, and the words of the Risen Jesus – viewing ruins from both Bible times and the Byzantine era. We continue to Izmir (ancient Smyrna), to our next hotel.
Saturday 14th September: Smyrna / Rome
We start the day with a visit to the ancient site of Smyrna, where we consider the sufferings facing this church of Revelation – and the martyrdom of Polycarp, a second-century Bishop here. We continue to the airport for our flight to Rome, where we will be escorted to our new hotel.
The remainder of the day is free.
Sunday 15th September: Rome
Our new guide introduces us to Rome. We walk through the ancient Forum, and see the Mamertine Prison (where both Paul, and also Peter, were imprisoned). We visit the Colosseum, and see the Titus Arch (celebrating the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE).
In the afternoon, we visit the Capuchin Crypt – an intriguing reminder of human mortality! – and enjoy Sunday worship together.
Monday 16th September: Rome
In the morning we visit St Peter’s (the Vatican), recalling Peter’s martyrdom, and seeing the Vatican Museum (including the Sistine Chapel). During the afternoon, we visit the Church of the Basilica (which claims to hold a fragment of the True Cross, thorns from the crown of thorns, and St Thomas’s finger); see a church reputedly marking the site of Paul’s burial (the Basilica of St Paul’s outside-the-walls); and explore the Catacombs, just outside the city - where we will finish our tour with worship, and prayer for those suffering today for their faith.
Tuesday 17th September: Departure
We travel to the airport for our flight back to London Gatwick.
Itinerary subject to change
Full price £2150 per person /strong>
What the price includes
Not included in the price
Please note that the cost of the tour may be subject to surcharges - please see the booking conditions. Currency exchange rates used £1 = US$1.351 as published in the Financial Times on 2nd January 2018.
* APC (ATOL Protection Contribution) provides passenger protection via the ATTF (Air Travel Trust Fund). For further information visit www.caa.co.uk
HOW TO BOOK
Either click 'Book' at the bottom of this page or download, complete and return the booking form to:
Worldwide Christian Travel 36 Coldharbour Road, Bristol, BS6 7NA UK
Tel: 0845 458 8308
Worldwide Christian Travel has been organising Christian holidays and tours, mainly to the Holy Land, for over 50 years. We cover all aspects of travel and are one of the most comprehensive Christian travel organisers in the country. Worldwide Christian Travel is a trading name of Hadler Tours Limited.
People of all ages are welcome, but, whatever your age, we must insist on a reasonable level of fitness. A number of sites involve rough walking.
Hadler Tours Limited is a member of ABTA with membership numbers 93522 & V2096. ABTA and ABTA Members help holidaymakers to get the most from their travel and assist them when things do not go according to plan. We are obliged to maintain a high standard of service to you by ABTA’s Code of Conduct. For further information about ABTA, the Code of Conduct and the arbitration scheme available to you or if you have a complaint, contact ABTA, 68-71 Newman Street London W1T 3AH Tel: 020 7637 2444 or visit www.abta.com.
All monies paid by you for the air holiday package shown are ATOL protected by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is ATOL 3078. For more information see our booking terms and conditions.
Passports, Visas and Vaccinations
Travellers are responsible for ensuring that they have a valid passport for travel to the relevant countries and that it is valid for at least 6 months after the date of travel. A visa is required for British Passport holders visiting Turkey, but not for Greece or Italy. Details of how to obtain this will be sent with your final invoice. At the time this brochure went to press no vaccinations or inoculations are required for travel but you may wish to consult your own doctor for advice concerning this. If you have any queries regarding the above, we will be happy to help.
For the latest travel advice please visit www.fco.gov.uk or call 0870 606 0290.
Further Information And Paying The Balance
Further information will be sent to you regarding any action that may be required approximately 10 weeks before departure. A final invoice will also be sent at this time and the balance for the tour must be paid at least 8 weeks before departure.
Full travel information, including details of meeting points, flight times, accommodation and travel information, will be sent to you approximately 2 weeks before departure. Normally, tickets are not issued but are handed to you at the airport or departure point by our representative who will be there to ensure that you depart without a hitch and to deal with any last minute difficulties.
It is compulsory to have travel insurance for your booking. Holiday Extras have a range of policies available at very competitive prices. You can obtain a quote online by clicking here or alternatively you can call 0871 360 2742 and quote ABTA number 93522.
Our normal procedure is to deal with tips on a group basis and these are included in the price. The tour leader will distribute them to the guide, driver and hotels on your behalf. Individual tipping is not recommended unless the circumstances are exceptional.
Room Check In and Check Out Times
The standard international practice is to let rooms from midday to midday. However times do vary. Check-in times are usually between 2pm and 3pm, check-out times between 11am and 12 noon on the day of departure. Therefore, if you check-in immediately after a night flight this would normally count as one night’s accommodation. Similarly if your return flight is at night you will normally be required to vacate your room at 12 noon prior to leaving for the airport. Day rooms are subject to availability/cost and should be arranged locally with the accommodation management.
Page published August 2018
“I have recently returned from a wonderfully inspiring 7 Churches of Asia Minor tour with Peter and Anne Whatton. The whole experience lived up to to the description and much more. Great leaders, a tour guide whose explanations were so clear and perceptive. Thank you for all the arrangements and care.”