Field trips* are optional components of specified modules within UCLan’s Religion, Culture and Society (RCS) programmes which students may participate in (*subject to change).
RCS aims to draw attention to shared values, beliefs and practices, and supports students in achieving a mutual appreciation of different faiths and traditions. These aims are further supported by national and international field trips, which are optional components of specified modules.
Sarah Williams, BA (Hons) Religion, Culture and Society said: “After visiting the Jain Centre as part of RCS, and learning from someone so passionate about their faith, Jainism became a lot more accessible. The authenticity of hearing first-hand the important factors from the religion, and being able to physically witness the beauty of the intricately designed shrine, meant that through the use of accessible language and metaphors that were easily followed, we were able to gain knowledge and understanding of their way of life and how their religion affects them every day. The class were made to feel welcome with the great hospitality of our hosts, offering amazing food that gave an insight into their lifestyle; through showing the vegetarian options that they would serve at their homes. The Jain Centre was a fantastic experience that I would not hesitate to repeat again in order to further my knowledge and understanding of their faith.”
Paul Ryder said: “Visiting the Sikh temple (Gurdwara) in Preston as part of my first year studying Religion, Culture and Society was an experience I will never forget. The hospitality of our hosts was exceptional and our first ‘task’ was to sit down and eat the delicious food they had prepared for us. Everybody was friendly and there was a beautiful air of tranquillity and welcome in the Gurdwara. I was excited and intrigued as to what lay ahead for all of us.
After our food we were taken upstairs and given a brilliant introduction to the history of Sikhism and a really succinct explanation of their beliefs and practices. This was so helpful for my understanding of a culture I was previously ignorant about. The insight I gained about this fascinating religion was truly uplifting and our hosts could not have been more helpful or patient with our seemingly endless procession of questions. Field trips like this one really bring to life the different world views that we study on this course and I defy anyone to come away from them without feeling richer for the experience.”
Sarah McCreavy, 1st year Religion, Culture and Society student said “As part of the module RB1334 Understanding Religion and Belief, we had the opportunity to go on a field trip to a Sikh Temple in Preston, during Semester 1 of our first year. This proved to be a really interesting experience where we met with representatives from the local Sikh community.
From the start we were made extremely welcome in the Temple and were introduced to some of the customs of the faith, which included removing our shoes on entry to the Temple, covering our heads and sharing in a welcome meal. They gave a very open and honest talk on the history of Sikhism, detailing some of their customs and practices and explained their belief system. We were given the opportunity to walk around the Temple and observed the sacred book of the Sikh faith, the ‘Adi Granth’. It was a valuable opportunity to experience in real terms one of the religions covered in this module, which really enriched what we had learnt in our lectures.”
Jennifer Ball, 2nd year BA (Hons) Religion, Culture and Society said: “The field trip to the Church of Latter Day Saints was an amazing opportunity. It was a fantastic place to visit for both educational and personal reasons. We had the opportunity as a group to speak to people of that faith and listen to what it is that they believe in and were told honestly and openly about their religious beliefs and practises.
The Church, and grounds it was set in, are one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen and it really has to be seen to be appreciated. The whole atmosphere surrounding the church is one of peace and tranquillity, giving the individual chance to really appreciate it and reflect on their own beliefs and understandings.”
Bruce Robertson, 2nd Year Religion, Culture and Society student said: “When we visited the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints' Temple in Chorley for a field trip, I found it an enlightening experience. The Temple itself, one of only two in the UK, needs to be seen close-up to appreciate the sheer scale of the building. After giving us a guided tour of the Temple grounds, members of the Church spoke to our group at some length, they took time to answer questions about their religion, explained how the Church operates, and discussed the teachings from the Book of Mormon. This was a very interesting trip, where I learned a lot about this often misunderstood faith.”
Penny Kinsella, 3rd Year BA(Hons) Religion, Culture and Society student said: “Ladyewell Shrine is a place of peace and serenity and opens one’s eyes to the beauty of nature. As a trip on the RCS course I feel it is an important one, and one that you are able to share with both peers and lecturers. The Shrine itself brings a sense of hope to people visiting and generates a good atmosphere. The surrounding area, including the Church, house and stations of the cross, also emphasises the natural beauty of the place. Any questions that you have can be answered by the knowledgeable staff; and small tokens of memorabilia can also be bought. The trip itself is a memorable day out and one which I will not forget.”
Cell Ichigo, 3rd Year Religion, Culture and Society student said: “What I most enjoyed about Ladyewell; firstly, we heard a short sermon on the history of the Catholic church, which was invaluable as knowledge and helped me to understand the various Catholic practises. I had no idea of the sheer amount of changes that had taken place in Catholicism within the last decade. Secondly, it was a great experience to be able to undertake a miniature pilgrimage. It gave a spiritual insight into people's struggles and beliefs, and whilst we didn't exactly climb the very walls of Jerusalem, the experience of Ladyewell did make it easier to empathise with the viewpoint of those who have undergone such a pilgrimage.”
Vicky Kaya, 1st Year BA (Hons) Religion, Culture and Society student said “We had the opportunity to visit the Hindu temple with RCS as part of our study of Dharma religions. It was a very enjoyable visit in which I shared with my RCS friends. In our group we had the opportunity to ask lots of questions about Hinduism and gain a deeper understanding of Hindu practice. The temple was fantastic with the most amazing images of Hindu Gods and Goddesses which gives practitioners’ of Hinduism focus in daily prayer and chanting.
We also had the good fortune to witness a service in which light and offerings of food are made to the Gods, a daily ritual in the temple. I believe this visit was very beneficial in introducing students of RCS to Dharma religions, in order to gain a deeper understanding of Hinduism and how this culture integrates into the western world. I feel fortunate to have had this opportunity in my first year at University.”
Janine Coghan, 1st Year BA (Hons) Religion, Culture and Society student said “The trip to the Hindu temple was inspirational and educational, a winning combination! From the moment we reached the marble entrance, intricately engraved with Hindu gods and goddesses I knew it was going to be a great visit. Inside the main entrance there were more beautiful statues and information boards explaining the Hindu religious beliefs and practices. After we removed our shoes our guide took us into the temple and there was a collective gasp from the group. Surrounding us were phenomenal pictures, sparkling statues and bright bunting, all depicting the Hindus' love for their gods. Artwork on the walls told the stories of celebrated Hindus, depicting pilgrimages and the reasons for these journeys. Fruit was offered to the statues as a sign of love and respect and our guide explained that during the afternoon the statues would be closed off from viewing as Hindus believe that the gods rest during this time. We were even lucky enough (and honoured) to be able to watch a service whilst we were in the temple!”
Louise Melling, 1st Year BA(Hons) Religion, Culture and Society student said “As part of our first semester, the RCS tutors organised a trip to visit the Liverpool Cathedrals. It turned out to be an intimate group of students, and it was great day! We learned a lot of the history of both cathedrals, which was fascinating. We experienced a guided tour of the crypt in the Catholic Cathedral - which is the only part to be built of the uncompleted Cathedral designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens in 1930, and houses the Chapel of St Nicholas, the Pontifical Hall, the Chapel of Relics and the Treasury. The tour guides were very welcoming, helpful and obliging, particularly in answering our questions. We were also able to have free time to have a look around.
We had lunch at the Everyman Theatre before visiting the Anglican Cathedral, which was fantastic. It gave us the opportunity to get to know other students from different RCS cohorts (there were students from 1st, 2nd & 3rd year). It was a great occasion to talk to the tutors and other students, to get their insight on the course, and also find out about their experiences, and what they would like to do in the future!
The Anglican Cathedral is arguably the largest in the country and houses its own book shop & cafe inside, and more traditional in style and architecture. It was a fun and fulfilling day, because it enriched our knowledge and social skills. Overall, an amazing day!”
Sean Somers, BA (Hons) Religion, Culture and Society student said “On 21st November we were given a great chance to visit St Walburge’s, a Roman Catholic Church, as part of the ‘Sacredness and Spirituality’ module. It was a very informative and enjoyable visit for all. The tour of the church was led by Frank Harrington, who gave a great detail of information on the different areas of the church, eg the Baptismal Font. He also explained the Tabernacle and the Eucharist, and discussed the different saints that were displayed within the church. This was extremely interesting, and highlighted a number of areas that I didn't know about.
One of the resident Capuchin Monks, Br Loarne, was also available as a support guide. The group asked him lots of questions about the church, its history etc. The height of the church spire, for instance, generated a great deal of interest, and Br Loarne explained that it was a directive (people could see it from miles around and find their way). We also had the opportunity to wander around the church freely, which was excellent because we could pick out specific articles of interest to discuss with Carolyn, Frank or Br Loarne – it was great! This trip was the perfect finish to the ‘Sacredness & Spirituality’ module. It pulled all of the knowledge we had gained throughout the lectures together and allowed us to gain a deeper understanding of Roman Catholicism. I feel very privileged to have been given this opportunity in my second year at UCLan studying RCS.”
Joanna Lee said “What can I say? Our trip to Pantasaph Retreat Centre was such a great experience. It was the only way to finalise our three years at UCLan – amazing!
Pantasaph is located in North Wales, in a small town call Holywell, also known as ‘The Lourdes of Wales’. Pantasaph itself is magnificent, the Mother House of the Franciscan Friars. The grounds are spectacular – also very relaxing and exceptionally peaceful. Pantasaph holds a rich Catholic history and contains a stunning shrine dedicated to Saint Pio. Within the grounds of Pantasaph stands Saint David’s church and the Lady Chapel; which holds the bones and dried blood of a 2nd century martyr!
As a group we spent quite a lot of time talking and sharing quality time together. We explored our journey at UCLan from an academic and also a personal perspective, swapping stories and experiences, and reflecting on three years together – what we have learned about ourselves, each other and life so far. It was incredible – I cannot express the depth or level of feeling we shared. We all have come to understand the strong bond we hold for each other, something we have gain though being part of RCS and also because of the amazing support received from Carolyn and Frank.”
Mellisa Phillips, BA(Hons) Religion, Culture and Society student said “Pantasaph was amazing! Rather than the focus being within the classroom, it was about living and breathing reality about us and within us. I was taken to a new level of learning, which was astounding.
As a group we discussed our experience of UCLan, from the initial arrival up to the final exam, and we explored everything we had learned – that was a revelation! I had not realised how much development and growth I had actually gone through.
Pantasaph offers something unique – a time to really reflect. Pantasaph is the Motherhouse of the Franciscan Order; the Capuchin Brothers live a very simple life, a spiritual life and a refreshingly uncomplicated life. We had the privilege of being part of that lifestyle for a short time. By discarding my phone, television and laptop, I was able to enjoy a simple way of life and really get to know everybody around me.
The trip to Pantasaph will always be one of my fondest memories from my University life and I know I’ll always cherish it, as well as the people who I experienced it with – especially Carolyn and Frank. I would recommend anybody and everybody to go to Pantasaph if they get the chance! I know I wouldn’t hesitate to return.”