A Pilgrimage for Salisbury Cathedral
The Holy Land – A Pilgrimage through the Biblical Lands
Of Israel and Palestine
The Very Revd Nicholas Papadopulos
The Dean of Salisbury
19th – 28th April 2022
Covid 19 put paid to our plans to go on pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 2020. I am thrilled that new dates have been identified, and it is with great pleasure that I can at last issue this invitation to you to join me.
I made my first pilgrimage in 2016. It was a quite overwhelming experience. Since then I have had the privilege of leading two further pilgrimages, and the prospect of returning to Israel and Palestine in 2022, after the pandemic has subsided, is very exciting.
Pilgrims to the Holy Land walk in the landscape in which Jesus walked. They pray in places where generations of Christians have prayed, and understand afresh what it is to belong to an innumerable company of faithful men and women drawn by his life, death and resurrection. And they hear the voices of those who live, work, rejoice, and grieve in the towns and villages of Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories today. You can be sure that Covid 19 will have added another chapter to the stories we will listen to at first-hand.
It is in the stories, above all, that we will come face to face with God, who made himself known in Jesus, who is among us as one who suffers, and yet who draws life eternal out of that suffering.
The 2022 pilgrimage will be, I am confident, an unforgettable opportunity to encounter the living God.
The Dean of Salisbury
- Scheduled flights on British Airways from London Heathrow Airport
- All airport departure & passenger taxes (UK & Israel)
- 9 nights accommodation at selected hotels
- All entrance fees and local government taxes
- All touring in modern air-conditioned tourist coaches
- All gratuities to guides, drivers, porters and hotel staff
- Single room price per person £2755
- Travel insurance
- Any items of a personal nature (laundry & drinks etc)
Day 1, Tuesday 19th April
We gather at London Heathrow Airport for our morning flight to Tel Aviv. Lunch will be served in-flight. On arrival we are met by our guide and then travel north to our hotel on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. Overnight stay overlooking the Sea of Galilee.
Day 2, Wednesday 20th April
We begin our day with a short drive or walk to the Church of the Multiplication at Tabgha, followed by a visit to the Church of Peter Primacy, the scene of Jesus’s lakeside resurrection appearance. We then drive up to the summit of the Mount of Beatitudes with its amazing views over the Sea of Galilee and the countryside where Jesus lived and ministered. After a break for lunch we visit ancient Capernaum, the centre of Jesus’s Galilean ministry. We will sail in a contemporary version of the boats used 2,000 years ago, and see the remarkable remains of a historic boat recovered from the lake which dates to the first century CE. We return to our hotel for dinner and overnight stay.
Day 3, Thursday 21st April
After breakfast we drive across the Jezreel Valley and the biblical scene of Armageddon to Mount Tabor and ascend to the summit to visit the Church of the Transfiguration and celebrate the Eucharist. On descending Mount Tabor we drive over to Nazareth, the town where Jesus grew to adulthood. After a break for lunch we will begin our tour by visiting the Basilica of the Annunciation and the Synagogue-Church (where the “Nazareth Manifesto” was proclaimed). Late afternoon return to our hotel in time for dinner and overnight stay.
Day 4, Friday 22nd April
We make an early start and head south through the heart of the occupied West Bank. We pause in the Palestinian city of Nablus (the Biblical Shechem). Here we will visit Jacob’s Well, where Jesus encountered a Samaritan woman drawing water. We then drive down the Jordan Valley to the site believed to be close to where Jesus was baptised by John and where we will have an opportunity to renew our baptismal vows. We then journey to the nearby oasis city of Jericho, the city of palms, for lunch and a view of the Mount of Temptation. We will also stop at the sycamore tree traditionally (very traditionally!) associated with Zacchaeus. In the late afternoon we drive up through the Judean Wilderness towards Bethlehem and enroute visit Herodion, a fortress built by Herod the Great. This monumental fortress and palace complex stands on the highest hill in the Judean desert and is where Herod was laid to rest. We then enter through a check-point in the massive 9-metre high separation wall and check-in to our hotel. Dinner and overnight stay in Bethlehem.
Day 5, Saturday 23rd April
An early start: we rise and make our way to the Church of the Nativity, the site of Jesus’s birth (and the adjoining Catholic Church built above the caves where St Jerome translated the Bible into Latin). We return to our hotel for breakfast. After breakfast we will visit the Nassar family farm, better known as the Tent of Nations. Daoud’s family have owned the hilltop for more than 100 years and have a peaceful mission to build bridges between the peoples of the Holy Land. We return to Bethlehem for lunch. In the afternoon we drive to nearby Beit Sahour to visit the Shepherds’ Fields. This is the traditional site where the shepherds watched their flocks on the night of Jesus’s birth. If permitted we will visit the Aida Refugee Camp (one of three refugee camps in Bethlehem) where we will hear about pioneering cultural work among third generation child refugees at the Al Rowwad project. Overnight stay in Bethlehem.
Day 6, Sunday 24th April
After breakfast we drive to East Jerusalem and St George’s Cathedral to join members of the local Christian community for Sunday worship. We then proceed to visit the Western Wall, a section of the retaining wall of King Solomon’s Temple esplanade and the holiest site in Judaism. We then continue to the Yad Vashem holocaust memorial museum. After a break for lunch we will drive south to visit Kibbutz Shoval, a Jewish Israeli community whose members will show us around and talk to us about their life. Then we travel to Beit Jala (a suburb of Bethlehem) to meet with representatives of a remarkable Israeli organisation. 'Breaking the Silence' comprises young men and women who have served in the Israeli army and are now committed to telling their people the real nature of the occupation. Then dinner and overnight stay in Bethlehem.
Day 7, Monday 25th April
We begin our day with an optional visit to the Church of the Nativity (06:00) to avoid the crowds and return to our hotel for breakfast. This morning – if the political climate permits - we experience both the huge depth of religious history in the Holy Land and its modern-day problems. We visit Hebron, site of the Tombs of the Patriarchs and see how the Old City centre has been divided and impoverished by the Occupation. Hebron glass is famous and we will also visit a glass factory and a weaving factory where the famous Palestinian ‘keffiyeh’ headdresses are made before breaking for a lunch. In the afternoon we drive down to the Dead Sea and visit Qumran where the Dead Sea scrolls were found. We also visit the excavations of an Essene community, from where the scrolls probably originated. We will also have an opportunity to bathe (or float!) in the unique mineral-laden waters of the Dead Sea before returning to Bethlehem. Dinner and overnight stay in Bethlehem.
Day 8, Tuesday 26th April
After breakfast we leave Bethlehem and make our way to Jerusalem and the summit of the Mount of Olives for a breathtaking view of the Old City and its magnificent medieval walls before we follow Jesus’s Palm Sunday journey from Bethphage down the mountain, stopping at the Church of Dominus Flevit (which commemorates Jesus’s tears for Jerusalem) before reaching the Garden of Gethsemane and the Church of All Nations. After lunch we make our way to Mount Zion to visit the Church of St Peter in Gallicantu. Here Peter denied Jesus; beneath are excavations of what is believed to be the house of Caiaphas. Late afternoon we will drive over to the Israel Museum to view the ancient model of Jerusalem (showing the city as it was in the time of Jesus) before continuing to check-in to our hotel situated within the Old City Walls. Dinner and overnight stay in Jerusalem.
Days 9, Wednesday 27th April
Early rise! We begin our day with an optional visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (06:00) to avoid the crowds and return to our hotel for breakfast. After breakfast we drive around to the Lion Gate, also known as St. Stephen’s Gate and re-enter the Old City to visit the Pools of Bethesda and the beautiful Crusader Church of St Anne (the mother of the Virgin Mary). We continue our way up to the Ecce Homo Arch and begin our walk along the Way of the Cross, through the narrow streets of the Via Dolorosa. These culminate in the extraordinary Church of the Holy Sepulchure, built over the site of Jesus’s crucifixion, burial and resurrection. Break for lunch. Our last afternoon will be free to explore the Old City and revisit sites of particular interest. Farewell dinner and overnight stay in Jerusalem.
Days 10, Thursday 28th April
After a leisurely breakfast we leave Jerusalem and drive west towards the Mediterranean and the airport, stopping at the town of Abu Gosh, one of the possible sites of the Biblical Emmaus, to celebrate a final Eucharist with the hospitable religious community there. We will have an early lunch before heading to the airport for our flight home arriving back at London Heathrow in the late evening.