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Diocesan Pilgrimage to the Holy Land
17/09/18

A Diocesan Pilgrimage to the Holy Land is being planned for January 2020. We hope to walk in the footsteps of Jesus, sensing the story coming alive for us in the very places where he lived, walked, died and rose again.

We will be more than mere tourists. At every site we visit there will be the opportunity to pause, listen to Scripture and worship together, sharing a simple hymn and prayer. In addition we will have the opportunity to worship with our Christian brothers and sisters in Christ in Jerusalem as well as celebrate the Eucharist together at many holy sites.

Our desire is that the pilgrimage will be a blessing not just to those who come along but also to those we meet along the way. We will be visiting and supporting a number of Christian charities. We will be looked after by a Christian owned and run travel company, we will stay in Christian pilgrim houses and eat in Christian restaurants. As Christians form such a tiny minority in this part of the world, this kind of economic support is invaluable. We will, of course, be also listening to the stories and views of other we meet in this multi-faith context.

The tour will be led by Bishop John Stroyan and the Rev Sheila Bridge. Sheila writes about her first visit earlier this year,

“Just seeing the road sign for Nazareth from the coach within minutes of starting our journey, brought it home to me that we were really here! This is where it all happened. I went with an open mind, found myself moved by unexpected places and challenged by extraordinary conversations. My understanding of the complexity of the current situation in Israel was stretched and deepened. To share observations, reactions and insights with other pilgrims who like me were seeing these things for the first time, was extraordinarily enriching. I came back with a great desire to take others back with me.”

Bishop John and the Rev Sheila Bridge will leading the worship and devotional aspect of this Pilgrimage and relying on the support of very experienced local guides for the geographical and historical background. No previous knowledge or understanding is necessary. We hope that this will be an opportunity primarily for lay people who have a heart to listen and learn about the Holy Land, a desire to grow in their own faith and maybe, if so called, a willingness to be moved to compassionate action and prayer on our return.

Bishop John writes:

“A pilgrimage through the Holy Land is a journey on many different levels: geographical, historical, political and spiritual. It is all these things if we travel alone, but when we travel together as brothers and sisters in Christ our learning is more than merely personal: ‘walking together with Jesus and talking along the way’ we can expect to be formed as a community and when we return, it is my prayer we may become a richer blessing to our home communities”.

If you would like to know more about this diocesan pilgrimage and would like to consider joining us, please do come to an evening entitled “Taste of the Holy Land” which will be held in St Peter and St John Church, Clifton Road Rugby on Wednesday, October 17th at 7:30 PM. At that event you will be able to hear more details about the itinerary and the costs. Brochures and booking forms for the pilgrimage will be available on that evening. Please let us know you are coming to that evening by emailing Kerry.Rumney@covcofe.org  If you would like to receive a brochure but are not able to come to that evening please also let Kerry know. Please note no brochures will be given out before this date and no booking can be made without the booking form in the brochure.