A Pilgrimage for The Diocese of Shrewsbury
The Holy Land
“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever”
under the leadership of
Bishop Mark Davies
8th – 15th February 2024
As we prepare for the Holy Land Pilgrimage of 2024, we set out in the joyful confidence that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb. 13: 8).
A pilgrim to the Holy Land seeks more than the beauty of landscapes or the memories of ancient places but seeks Jesus Christ in all the places associated with his life, death and resurrection. In pilgrimage we trace the path Christ walked on earth; we set out to meet Christ today, above all, in the Holy Eucharist and glimpse the pilgrim path of our own lives in the light of Him who is the same yesterday, today and forever.
I look forward to our pilgrimage together,
- Flights on EasyJet from Manchester
- All airport departure & passenger taxes (UK & Israel)
- 7 nights accommodation
- All entrance fees and local government taxes
- Qualified English speaking guide throughout the tour
- All touring in modern air-conditioned tourist coaches
- Single room price per person £2290
- Any items of a personal nature
- Travel insurance
- Gratuities £85
Day 1, Thursday 8th February
Journey to the Holy Land
We gather at Manchester International Airport for our midday flight to Tel Aviv. On arrival we will be met by our guide and driven north to Galilee and our hotel close to the Sea of Galilee.
Day 2, Friday 9th February
Mount Tabor, Nazareth & Cana
We begin our pilgrimage by driving to the foot of Mount Tabor from where we continue by taxi to the summit for Mass in the Basilica built on the site of the Transfiguration of Jesus before Peter, James and John. From the roof top, one can look across the green and fertile Valley of Jezreel and the Biblical plains of Armageddon. On descending Mount Tabor we drive on to Nazareth, the town where Jesus grew up. Here we visit the Basilica of the Annunciation, built over the traditional site of the home of the Holy Family, before breaking for lunch. In the afternoon we will visit the Greek Orthodox Church, built over Mary’s Well and the old Synagogue-Church. Late afternoon we drive to the village of Cana, the site of Jesus’ first sign to visit the Wedding Church, built to commemorate Jesus’ first miracle, before finally returning to our hotel in good time to freshen up before dinner. Overnight stay in Galilee.
Day 3, Saturday 10th February
Jesus’ Lakeside Ministry
After breakfast we drive to the Church of the Primacy and time for meditation, before making our way to Tabgha and the church of the Loaves and Fishes, which commemorates the miracle of the Feeding of the Five Thousand. We then continue along the shoreline to the ancient fishing village of Capernaum for Mass in the church built over the House of Peter. Here we visit the excavations of an old synagogue with foundations that date back to the time of Jesus and quite possibly the site where Jesus may have often preached. We leave Capernaum by boat and sail on the Sea of Galilee to Kibbutz En Gev where we will break for lunch. The rest of the afternoon will be free to explore the town of Tiberias with it’s promenade. Dinner and overnight stay in Galilee.
Day 4, Sunday 11th February
Jericho, Bethany & Jerusalem
After breakfast we drive up to the summit of the Mount of Beatitudes to celebrate Mass in the open air, overlooking the places where Jesus lived and worked, before we bid farewell to the Galilee and journey south following the Jordan River as it meanders it’s way along the Jordan Valley towards the ancient oasis town of Jericho, the City of Palms, one of the oldest inhabited places on earth. En route we will stop at Qasr al Yahud on the banks of the River Jordan, probably close to the very place where John baptised Jesus, before continuing to Jericho. After an opportunity for a spot of souvenir shopping and a break for lunch we will stop briefly to view Qarantal, the Mount of Temptation monastery, which clings precariously to the cliff face of the mountain and overlooks the green oasis of the Jericho. We then make our way up through the hills of the Judean Wilderness towards Jerusalem, stopping briefly in the town of Bethany (if permitted), the home of Jesus’ friends Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, before finally we take a long detour around the enormous separation wall and approach Jerusalem from the east, stopping on the summit of Mount Scopus for a breath taking view of the Holy City of Jerusalem before the sun sets. We then proceed down to Jerusalem to check-in to our hotel situated within the Old Walled City. Dinner and overnight stay in Jerusalem.
Day 5, Monday 12th February
Bethlehem & Ein Karem
After breakfast we drive a short distance to the city of Bethlehem, situated on the outskirts of Jerusalem and entered through a nine-metre high “separation wall”. We begin by visiting the Church of the Nativity, the oldest church in Christendom, built over the cave that marks the spot where Jesus was born. We will be celebrate Mass by St Joseph’s altar close to Jerome’s Cave below the Church of the Nativity. We then continue to the Milk Grotto and the nearby Shepherds Fields, before visiting 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. After a break for lunch we leave Bethlehem and drive to the village of Ein Karem, to visit the church of the Visitation and home of John the Baptist. Return to our hotel for dinner and overnight stay.
Day 6, Tuesday 13th February
Mount of Olives & Mount Zion
Today we drive to the top of the Mount of Olives for a panoramic view of Jerusalem, before visiting Bethphage, the starting point of Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem. We then walk down the Palm Sunday path to the Garden of Gethsemane and on route visit the Church of Pater Noster which attests to the existence of a cave on the Mount of Olives associated with Jesus’ teaching the Ascension and the Church of Dominus Flevit, which commemorates the site where Jesus wept over the destruction of the city, before visiting Gethsemane, where Jesus was betrayed by Judas. The Church of All Nations is located on the traditional site where Jesus prayed and is built over the Agony Rock. Late morning we drive across the Kidron Valley and on to Mount Zion to visit St Peter in Gallicantu, the House of Caiaphas, the church of the cock–crowing. Here we can view the recently excavated steps that lead to the Old City, and possibly the very steps that Jesus walked. We then visit the Cenacle, the Franciscan Room of the Last Supper where we will celebrate Mass. After a break for lunch we will proceed to the Israel Museum to view the beautiful scaled model of Jerusalem based around the time of Jesus. Finally we return to our hotel in good time for dinner. Overnight stay in Jerusalem.
Day 7, Wednesday 14th February
The Old City & The Via Dolorosa
This morning we will leave our hotel after an early breakfast and drive over to the Dung Gate to visit the Western Wall and if permitted visit the Temple Area, to view the Al Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock, before continuing to the beautiful Crusader church of St Anne’s by the Pools of Bethesda. We then begin our walk along the narrow streets of the Via Dolorosa visiting the Stations of the Cross including the Ecce Homo Arch and convent, the Lithostratus “the pavement, the roof of the Holy Sepulchre and through the Ethiopian Monastery to the Holy Sepulchre which is built over the Tomb on Calvary. After a break for lunch we will be free to spend time in and around the Holy Sepulchre and the Old City, or we will have the option to drive over to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum and Park, before returning to Jerusalem. Farewell dinner and our final nights stay in Jerusalem.
Day 8, Thursday 15th February
Abu Gosh, Jaffa & Our journey home
This morning we will have the option of revisiting the Holy Sepulchre early in the morning and returning to our hotel for breakfast. Late morning we leave Jerusalem and drive towards Tel Aviv, stopping on route for our final act of worship in the Holy Land with the celebration of Mass in Abu Gosh, Emmaus of the Resurrection story. We will then proceed to the old city of Jaffa on the Mediterranean for a break and late lunch before proceeding to Ben Gurion airport and our return flight home. We expect to arrive back in Manchester at around midnight.