THE HOLY LAND
In the footsteps of Jesus
A 8 day Pilgrimage through the Lands of Israel and Palestine
Rev Andrew Davey and Rev Jim Fletcher
11th – 18th September 2024
For hundreds of years Christians have set aside time to hear, and experience in a new way, the familiar stories of their faith by going on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. We invite you to join us walking in the steps of Jesus, in Nazareth, Bethlehem, Galilee and Jerusalem.
Our Pilgrimage will be both an opportunity to support and encourage the Christian community there and to gain a greater understanding of the three Abrahamic faiths:-Judaism, Christianity and Islam – for all of whom Jerusalem is Holy.
We will meet, and have the opportunity to worship with, members of the Palestinian Christian community in Jerusalem and Nazareth. In these encounters with the local community we may gain a deeper understanding of the challenges they face and the lives of the peoples who live, work and worship in the Holy Land. We know that our time spent together there will be of great help and encouragement to our sister and brother Christians who, especially at this time, face so many difficulties.
We have both found that every time we make the pilgrimage our friendships and understandings have been deepened by new and sometimes challenging experiences and insights. We have also always so enjoyed relaxing by, sailing on, swimming in and eating fish from the Sea of Galilee, just as Jesus and His disciples did.
We do hope you will join us on this pilgrimage in September 2024
Andrew Davey Jim Fletcher
- Scheduled flights on EasyJet from London Luton
- All airport departure & passenger taxes (UK & Israel)
- 7 nights accommodation at selected hotels
- All entrance fees and local government taxes
- All touring in modern air-conditioned tourist coaches
- Single room price per person £2775
- Travel insurance
- Gratuities £75
- Any items of a personal nature (laundry & drinks etc)
Day 1, Wednesday 11th September
Journeying to the Holy Land
We meet at London Luton airport for our morning flight to Tel Aviv. On arrival we will be met by our guide and then driven to Jerusalem and our hotel by the Old Walled City. Dinner and Overnight stay in Jerusalem.
Day 2, Thursday 12th September
Mount Olives & Mount Zion
After breakfast we begin our pilgrimage by driving to the summit of the Mount of Olives for a magnificent view across the Kidron Valley to the holy places in Jerusalem and the city’s beautiful medieval walls. We then begin to trace Jesus’ Palm Sunday journey from Bethphage down the mountain, stopping at Dominus Flevitt and Pater Noster on the way before reaching the Garden of Gethsemane and the profoundly moving Church of the Agony. Late morning we drive across the Kidron Valley to Mount Zion to visit the traditional site of the Last Supper Room and St Peter in Gallicantu recalling Peter’s betrayal of Jesus. We will also view the recently excavated steps that lead to the Old City and are possibly the very steps that Jesus would have climbed. After a break for a late lunch we will make our way to the Armenian quarter where we will be able to observe the Armenian Vespers, before we drive over to the Israel Museum in West Jerusalem to view a detailed scaled model of Jerusalem based around the time of Jesus. Return to our hotel in good time to freshen up before dinner. Overnight stay in Jerusalem.
Day 3, Friday 13th September
Bethlehem & Ein Karem
After an early breakfast we leave our hotel and drive to Bethlehem. We enter through a check-point in the 9-metre separation wall and continue into the town of Bethlehem. We will visit the Church of the Nativity, the site of Jesus’s birth and the adjoining Catholic Church built above the Cave of St Jerome. We then continue 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 and where we will celebrate Holy Communion. We then visit the St Vincent Creche/Orphanage, the only facility of its kind in the West Bank offering Christian love and compassion to over forty abandoned babies and small children before breaking for lunch. In the afternoon we leave Bethlehem and if time permits we will visit Herodion, King Herod’s Palace and where his body was laid to rest. We then continue to the village of Ein Karem, believed to have been the home of Zechariah and Elizabeth and thus the site of the birth of John the Baptist and of the encounter between Elizabeth and Mary. We then return to Jerusalem and our hotel in good time for dinner and overnight stay.
Day 4, Saturday, 14th September
The Old City & Dead Sea
We begin after an early breakfast and drive to the Dung Gate to view the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest site and if permitted we will ascend the Temple Mount to view the Dome of the Rock. We will exit the Temple Mount and then continue to the beautiful Crusader church of St Anne built above the twin pools of Bethesda where Jesus cured the sick man. We then begin our walk along the Via Dolorosa from the Chapel of Condemnation to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Along the way we visit the Convent of the Sisters of Zion built on the foundations of the Roman garrison to see the pavement that is venerated as the place where Jesus stood before Pilate and where we will celebrate Holy Communion. After a break for lunch we will leave Jerusalem and make our way to the Dead Sea for an opportunity to view the caves of Qumran and an opportunity to bathe (float) in the mineral-laden waters of the Dead Sea. In the late afternoon we leave the Dead Sea and drive back up through the hills of the Judean Desert towards Jerusalem, stopping briefly in the village of Bethany, the home of Jesus’ friends Mary, Martha and Lazarus. We plan to arrive back in good time to freshen up before dinner. Overnight stay in Jerusalem.
Day 5, Sunday 15th September
An ancient route
Today, after packing our bags and an early breakfast we drive to St George’s Anglican Cathedral to join with members of the local community for Sunday worship. Late morning we leave Jerusalem and drive dow to the oasis city of Jericho, the City of Palms and break for coffee. We then proceed to visit Qasr al Yehud, the traditional baptismal site on the River Jordan and possibly very near the site where John baptised Jesus where we will have an opportunity to renew our Baptismal vows. We will stop for a view of Qarantal, the monastery that is built on the traditional site where Jesus fasted for forty days and nights overlooking the green and fertile city of Jericho. After a break for lunch we will leave Jericho and continue north along the Jordan Valley to the Sea of Galilee and drive around the lake to check-in to our hotel for the first of a three night stay. We will have time to relax and freshen up before dinner. Overnight stay by the Sea of Galilee.
Day 6, Monday 16th September
Nazareth - Mount Tabor - Magdala
We leave Tiberias after an early breakfast and drive across the valley of Jezreel (the biblical plains of Armageddon) to Mount Tabor, the traditional site associated with the transfiguration of Jesus before Peter, James and John. Local taxis take us to the summit. On descending Mount Tabor we drive onto Nazareth to visit the Basilica of the Annunciation, Christ Church and the Greek Church built over the ancient well, before breaking for lunch. In the afternoon we will drive to the town of Sepphoris, a recently excavated Roman and Byzantine city. It was Mary’s home town and it has been suggested that Joseph worked as a carpenter here too. On the way back to our lakeside hotel we visit the exciting excavations at Magdala, the home town of Of Jesus’ close friend and follower Mary Magdalene (Mary of Magdala). It was a major first-century port and specialised in salted and smoked fish and exported its products all over the Mediterranean. Dinner and overnight stay by the Sea of Galilee.
Day 7, Tuesday 17th September
Jesus’ Lakeside Ministry
This morning we follow the ministry of Jesus along the shores of the Sea of Galilee. We begin by driving into the hills to the Mount of Beatitudes that overlooks virtually all the places where Jesus lived and worked. We plan to walk down through the fields to the lakeshore and Tabgha, the Church of the Loaves and Fishes that commemorates the feeding of the 5,000 and where we will celebrate Holy Communion. We then walk to Peter’s Primacy before continuing to Capernaum the centre of Jesus’ Galilean ministry where we will visit the first century house identified as the home of Peter. After a break for lunch at the Kibbutz En Gev we leave by boat and sail on the Sea of Galilee and return to our hotel. On route we will visit the “Jesus boat” a 1st century boat recovered from the lake. The rest of the afternoon will be free to relax. Dinner and overnight stay by the Sea of Galilee.
Day 8, Wednesday 18th September
Abu Gosh - Journey Home
Our final day in the Holy land. We leave Galilee after breakfast to drive south through the centre of Israel to visit the village of Abu Ghosh, one of the sites associated with the village of Emmaus in the gospels, where we will celebrate our final act of worship in the Holy Land. After a short break for lunch we proceed to Tel Aviv airport for our journey home to tell all those whom we meet about what has happened to us on the Way….