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There are many different types of Philadelphia spiritual trips to consider. Maybe you need a day of retreat to take time and space to connect, rebalance, recharge. Maybe you’re organizing a pilgrimage, which often happens in a group, and involves prayer and visiting a spiritual location. Maybe you’re interested in all religions and so you want to explore various synagogues, churches, mosques, and temples.
As the leader of the trip, you have so many factors to organize— permission slips, chaperones, itineraries. A charter bus rental would allow you to cross one thing off of your list: carpooling. And by keeping your group in one central location you have time to focus on what makes a great spiritual trip: prayer, community-building, and icebreakers. Spiritual trips can offer you a chance to reconnect with what matters, an opportunity to learn more about your spiritual roots, or time to serve others.
If you’re not sure what sort of bus your group might need, our easy-to-use infographic can help you decide. The easiest way to approach charter bus selection is to think about how large your group is and how far your trip will take you. We offer coach buses, mini coach, school buses, and minibuses: each bus meets a different need and has a variety of amenities.
As one of the oldest cities in the United States, Philadelphia has a wealth of spiritual locations. Here are some of the more popular ones, along with a brief overview.
The Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter & Paul opened in 1864 on the East side of Logan Square, in Philadelphia. It is the largest Catholic Church in Pennsylvania and is the largest brownstone building in Philly. The original designs were drawn by two priests, Mariano Muller and John Tornatore. Construction took nearly 20 years, as the bishop refused to go into debt to build the cathedral. Both Pope John Paul II and Pope Francis have celebrated papal masses at the Cathedral and today it is home to a thriving congregation.
For those who wish to learn more about the building, there are several options for tours: from self-guided to group and a few options in between. One interesting fact about the building? There was such anti-Catholic sentiment at the time (tied to an influx of immigrants) that the windows were designed to be just above where the highest rock could be thrown.
Beth Sholom Synagogue is located in Elkins Park, a suburb of Philadelphia. It is especially noteworthy because it is the only synagogue that Frank Lloyd Wright designed. Originally, the community was located in the Logan neighborhood of Philadelphia. When it moved to Elkins Park, they commissioned Wright to design their new synagogue. Building commenced in 1953 and was completed in 1959.
The building utilizes immense amounts of natural light in the sanctuary. In 2007, the building was added to the register as a National Historic Landmark. Tours are available, however reservations are required for groups of ten or more. Beth Sholom Synagogue is a very active congregation and there are multiple options for services available.
Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church is located in Center City, Philadelphia. The congregation was founded in 1794, in response to Reverend Richard Allen’s encouragement to black congregants to form their own churches after being forced to segregate in some of the city’s other churches. As such, it is the country’s oldest AME congregation. The land the church was built on (both its original building which had been a blacksmith’s shop, and its current building which was completed in 1890), is the oldest property owned continuously by African Americans. The current church structure is built in a Romanesque style. If you visit, make sure to stop in the basement crypt: it functions both as a museum of relevant items and as a burial site for Rev. Allen and his wife.
Arch Street Friends Meeting House was built in 1804 and expanded (the West Wing) in 1811. It is the oldest Friends Meeting House in Philadelphia that is still being used, and it is the largest meeting house in the world. The land for this meeting house was donated by William Penn, and at one point, Lucretia Mott, the suffragette and abolitionist, was a member. The Arch Street Friends Meeting House is still used today as a place of worship and meeting. The interior of the worship space is made up of wooden pews that face the center of the room and there is a gallery that overlooks the first floor. The building can hold up to 60 visitors, whoever they do ask for a reservation ahead of time.