The Holy Land
People and Places
Dr Liz Burroughs and Valerie Martin
6th – 15th May 2024
Journey through the lands of Palestine and Israel.
Visit sites of historical, cultural and theological importance.
Walk alongside Christians, Muslims and Jews who create this vibrant, challenging and beautiful place we all call ‘holy’.
Immerse yourself in Jerusalem, Bethlehem and the Galilee.
Experience the bustle and energy of the old city of Jerusalem, including the Via Dolorosa and the place of crucifixion, the narrow streets of Bethlehem leading to the birth place of Jesus and the serenity of the hills and the Sea of Galilee, plus other places of interest.
We will meet Palestinian Christians who trace their ancestry back in time and continue to follow the teachings of Jesus; Muslims and Jews who are trying to make sense of living in a region awash with difficulties and begin to understand what it means to be ‘people of the book’ in the harsh realities of the 21st century.
There will be time for worship and reflection.
We will stay in good quality hotels with en suite twin rooms.
We will have the services of a local English speaking guide.
Be a pilgrim in the real sense: be ready to explore, to learn, to challenge yourself, to become new. Engage in an opportunity to meet new people and make them friends; to visit new places and recognise them, and to encounter our faith in the lands of its birthplace and make it even more meaningful to our home communities.
Leaders: Dr Liz Burroughs and Valerie Martin
We both have visited Palestine and Israel on several occasions and previously led pilgrim groups to these very special places. Many of you will know Liz through her Methodist links, and Val may be known to you through her ecumenical network.
We invite you to journey with us on this Pilgrimage of Places and People…
We have chosen to visit Jerusalem, then Bethlehem and finally make our way to the Galilee. This will enable us to visit many of the places of importance and then to have time and space for reflection in the peace and serenity of the Galilee, before returning home.
Liz Burroughs & Val Martin
- Scheduled flights on British Airways from London Heathrow Airport
- All airport departure & passenger taxes (UK & Israel)
- 9 nights accommodation at selected hotels and guest house
- All entrance fees and local government taxes
- All touring in modern air-conditioned tourist coaches
- Single room price per person £3235
- Travel insurance
- Gratuities £90
- Any items of a personal nature (laundry & drinks etc)
Day 1, Monday, 6 May
Journeying to the Holy Land
We meet at London Heathrow Airport to join our morning flight to Tel Aviv. Lunch will be served on board. On arrival in Israel we will be met by our guide and then driven to our hotel situated within the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. We will be in Jerusalem for three nights.
Day 2, Tuesday, 7 May
The Mount of Olives - Mount Zion
After an early breakfast we begin our pilgrimage by driving up to the summit of the Mount of Olives where we will take in the breath-taking view of the old city of Jerusalem and its beautiful surrounding medieval walls. We then follow Jesus’ journey from Bethphage walking down the mountain to the Garden of Gethsemane and the Church of All Nations where we can pause for reflection. After a break for lunch we will drive to Mount Zion to visit St Peter in Gallicantu, built at the top of an ancient set of steps which leads up from the City of David to what is believed to have been the residence of the High Priest. Many believe that Jesus himself was led up these steps to his trial by the authorities after his arrest. Here we recall not only Jesus’ incarceration over the last night of his life, but also Peter’s faithless threefold denial of Jesus. Return to our hotel in good time to relax before dinner. Overnight stay in Jerusalem.
Day 3, Wednesday 8 May
Via Dolorosa - Yad Vashem
This morning we drive to St Stephen’s Gate (Lion Gate) and to St Anne’s Church [the mother of Mary], famous for its wonderful acoustics and the nearby pools of Bethesda. We will then walk the Via Dolorosa (including the Lithostrotos) to the traditional place of crucifixion in what is now the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. After time for reflection we will break for lunch. In the afternoon we will drive to West Jerusalem to visit the Holocaust Memorial Museum and Park, before returning to our hotel in good time to relax before dinner. Overnight stay in Jerusalem.
Day 4, Thursday 9 May
Garden Tomb & Bethlehem
After breakfast we leave our hotel and make our way to the Garden Tomb for visit and worship. We then drive to the Princess Basma Centre to learn about the services and facilities provided there for Palestinian children with disabilities. We hope to have a talk at the Notre Dame Centre before breaking for lunch.
In the afternoon we make our way to Bethlehem proceeding through the check-point in the huge 9-metre high separation wall. We then proceed to visit the Shepherds Fields and the Church of the Nativity, before checking in to our Bethlehem hotel where we will spend the next 3 nights. Dinner and overnight stay in Bethlehem.
Day 5, Friday 10 May
The Tent of Nations - Bethlehem
We will spend today in and around Bethlehem visiting various institutions including the Tent of Nations to learn about what life is like under occupation, WI’AM, the Conflict Transformation Centre, the Arab Women’s Union Museum and Shop and meeting with the Methodist Liaison link with Aida Refugee camp youth centre. Dinner and overnight stay in Bethlehem.
Day 6, Saturday 11 May
Masada - Jericho - Baptismal Site
After an early breakfast we drive south via Arad, which borders the Negev Desert, before descending to the Dead Sea to visit Herod’s mountain-top Fortress on the summit of Mount Masada which we ascend by cable-car. We then return north along the shoreline of the Dead Sea to the Oasis city of Jericho and break for lunch. In the afternoon we will visit Jericho and the Qasr al Yehud Baptismal site before returning to Bethlehem via Wadi Qelt, stopping briefly for a view of St George’s Monastery which clings precariously to a cliff face. Dinner and overnight stay in Bethlehem.
Day 7, Sunday 12 May
Sunday Worship and An Ancient Route
We will drive to Ramallah to worship with Quaker Friends in their Meeting House. Over lunch there will be opportunity to hear some of their stories of life in the West Bank. We will then travel north through the heart of the West Bank, noting as we drive some of the ‘facts on the ground’ about the Occupation. Subject to local conditions we hope to visit the remains of the ancient city of Sebaste on the outskirts of Nablus. Sebastia was destroyed by Alexander the Great. Pompey rebuilt it and Augustus bestowed it upon Herod the Great in 27BC. It was here too that the decapitated body of John the Baptist was buried. After visiting the Roman and Byzantine ruins we finally make our way to the Sea of Galilee and the Pilgerhaus guest house situated on the shores of the lake. We will stay at the Pilgerhaus for our final three nights. Dinner and overnight stay by the Sea of Galilee.
Day 8, Monday 13 May
Nazareth, Acre and Magdala
In Nazareth we will visit the Basilica of the Annunciation, the spring where Mary the mother of Jesus might have drawn water and if possible, the Synagogue church. Late morning we drive over to the Mediterranean coast to visit the Roman and Crusader fortress city of Acre. We will spend the rest of the morning exploring this magnificent complex with its fortified walls and grand halls. After a break for lunch we return to the shores of the Sea of Galilee to visit the recently excavated site of Magdala, the home town of Mary Magdalene. Return to our guest house in good time for dinner and overnight stay.
Day 9, Tuesday 14 May
Jesus’ Lakeside Ministry
Today will be devoted to a leisurely exploration of the area that was the base for Jesus’ ministry by the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. We will visit sites associated with the call of the first disciples, the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, the teaching of the Sermon on the Mount and the village of Capernaum. We will also sail on a modern-day version of the boat used for fishing at the time of Jesus and also see the remains of a similar boat which dates back to the early First Century. Dinner and overnight stay by the Sea of Galilee.
Day 10, Wednesday 15 May
Via the Mediterranean - Our journey home
We leave Galilee after an early breakfast and drive west across the Jezreel Valley and the plains of Armageddon before heading south along the Mediterranean coastline to visit the ancient fishing port of Jaffa for an early snack lunch and to visit this beautiful historic town, before continuing to Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport to check-in for our afternoon return flight to London. We plan to arrive back into Heathrow at around 20:00.