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Friends of the Holy Land conference
06/07/18

Kenilworth based charity, Friends of the Holy Land, held their national conference at Lambeth Palace in June. Over 60 Anglican and Roman Catholic representatives from 25 dioceses gathered to hear about the work FHL is doing in the Middle East.

Friends of the Holy Land was set up in 2009 after a group of Warwickshire Christians returning from the Holy Land were so moved by the plight of Holy Land Christians they wanted to make an immediate improvement to their lives and to demonstrate that their Christian family had not forgotten them. 

The recent conference was the charity's third National Conference. The event clearly demonstrated FHL's success in uniting UK Christians in the cause of providing relief to their Christian brothers and sisters living in the Holy Land. CEO of FHL, Maria McCaffery, reported that their office in Bethlehem was seeing an increased number of Christians seeking help, creating an urgent need to extend their support.

The impact of FHL's work was shown through the presentation of a number of case studies. These projects included day care for elderly Christian women in Bethlehem, school fees for Christian children in Israel, financial assistance for Iraqi Christian refugees in Jordan and scholarships for Christian university students in Gaza.

Keynote speaker, the Revd David Longe, who recently returned from three years as Chaplain to the Archbishop of Jerusalem, endorsed these achievements saying;

“I have been struck by the way in which FHL approaches some very difficult situations. Its approach is simple - it seeks to come along side Christians in the Holy Land who are suffering, offering them tangible support that makes a real difference. Sadly, the situation in the Holy Land means FHL's work is even more crucial today than it was when it started. So many individuals and families face horrific circumstances and desperately need help.”

Revd John Reece, previously Chaplain to St George's College in Jerusalem, closed the conference by saying;

“To be alongside our brothers and sisters is to begin to see through new lenses. Jesus has called us to be friends and true friends will make a difference. The ‘Living Stones’ of the Holy Land have so much to teach us by their faith and dignity- we must never lose hope.”

To find out more about Friends of the Holy Land, see their website - www.friendoftheholyland.org.uk

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