“Who do you say that I am?”
A journey of discovery in the Holy Land
The Revd Dr Sally Welch
– Editor of ‘New Daylight’ Bible reading notes and writer on pilgrimage –
5th – 14th May, 2022
A journey to the Holy Land is a transformative experience. The opportunity to walk in Jesus’ footsteps, to experience the landscape which he knew, to visit the sites where he lived and taught, changing peoples lives and sharing God’s love, is a delight and a challenge. It is a delight because we bring a new understanding to our faith, seeing in reality those places which were previously only names on a page. It is a challenge because now as then, Jesus calls us to a new way of living and thinking, responding to his sacrifice by dedicating our own lives to the coming of his kingdom.
As we travel from Jerusalem to Galilee, visiting Nazareth and Bethlehem, our journey will become a pilgrimage as we explore not only the landscape of Jesus but his effect on the lives of those he met. Led by an experienced guide, we will learn about the sites and their connection to the life of Christ. We will also hear something of the lives that he touches today, as we enjoy the hospitality of Christian hotels and restaurants and visit Christian charities and institutions. Finally we reflect on our own lives, as we try to discern our personal and individual answer to Jesus’ question: ‘who do you say that I am’.
I invite you to join me as we journey together to discover and explore, reflect and pray, experiencing just a part of what this wonderful land has to offer.
Rev Dr Sally Welch
Editor of ‘New Daylight’ Bible reading notes and writer on pilgrimage.
For those who would prefer to book online please click here…. Please select your departure point either London Heathrow or London Luton
- Single room (limited availability) £2870
- Scheduled flights on Easyjet Airways from Luton Airport
- Scheduled flights on British Airways from Heathrow (Extra £120)
- All airport departure & passenger taxes (UK & Israel)
- All entrance fees and local government taxes
- Qualified English speaking guide throughout the tour
- All touring in modern air-conditioned tourist coaches
- Travel Insurance
- Gratuities £85
- Snack lunches and any items of a personal nature (laundry & drinks etc)
Day 1, Thursday 5th May
We meet at the airport for our non-stop flight to Tel Aviv. On arrival we will be met by Lightline’s Airport representative and led to your waiting guide and coach to drive you up to Jerusalem. We will drive to the summit of Mount Scopus for a breath taking view of Jerusalem, the Old City and its magnificent medieval walls before checking in to our hotel within the Old City. Time to relax before dinner. Overnight stay in Jerusalem.
Day 2, Friday 6th May
After breakfast, we drive to the summit of the Mount of Olives to recall the Palm Sunday route and visit places associated with particular events in the gospels as we slowly make our way downhill. We start at Bethphage, the traditional starting point of the procession of palms and in the course of our journey will visit the church of the Pater Noster, where we recall Jesus’ teaching of the Lord’s Prayer to his disciples and the church of Dominus Flevit, where Jesus wept over the fate of the city. Finally, we reach the Garden of Gethsemane and the dark and brooding Church of All Nations where we recall Jesus’ agonized prayers prior to his arrest and reflect on the failure of his closest friends to keep awake and watch with him. We then proceed across the Kidron Valley to visit Mount Zion and the traditional site of the Last Supper and the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu and view the recently excavated Roman pathway and steps that lead up from the Old City. Return to our hotel in good time to relax before dinner and overnight stay in Jerusalem.
Day 3, Saturday 7th May
This morning we drive around to St Stephen’s Gate and then make our way to the beautiful Crusader Church of St. Anne overlooking the Pools of Bethesda. Visiting the Convent of the Sisters of Zion, built on the foundations of the Antonia Fortress, the Roman Garrison of Jerusalem we view the recently excavated first century stone pavement (Gabbatha in the Gospels) and then follow the Way of the Cross along the Via Dolorosa to Calvary enshrined within the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Late morning we drive down to the Dead Sea and break for lunch. We then visit Qumran, the site where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered and the remains of an Essene Monastery where the scrolls probably originated. After an opportunity to bath in the unique mineral-laden waters of the Dead Sea we return to Jerusalem and our hotel, arriving back in good time for dinner.
Day 4, Sunday 8th May
This morning after packing our bags and breakfast we drive over to St George’s Cathedral to join the local Christian community for Sunday Worship. We then visit the Western Wall, a section of the retaining wall of King Solomon’s Temple and Judaism’s holiest site and if permitted we will ascend Mount Moriah to visit the Temple Area and view the Dome of the Rock. After a break for lunch, we drive over to West Jerusalem to visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial museum and park. We then make our way to Bethlehem travelling through the check-point in nine-metre high separation wall and check-in to our hotel for a two night stay. Dinner and overnight stay in Bethlehem.
Day 5, Monday 9th May
Today will be devoted to discovering more about incarnation and the gift of life in all its abundance. We will visit the Shepherds’ Fields in Beth Sahour and the Church of the Nativity, as well as some remarkable institutions run by the Christian community of the ‘little town’. We hope to 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 and the Dar-al Kalima College created by Revd Dr Mitri Raheb, the Lutheran pastor of Bethlehem. We then return to our hotel in good time to freshen up before dinner. Overnight stay in Bethlehem.
Day 6, Tuesday 10th May
This morning we leave Bethlehem and make our way north to Galilee. From Bethlehem we drive down to the oasis city of Jericho, to view the traditional Sycamore tree and Quarantal Monastery on the Mount of Temptation. Late morning we continue to Qasr al Yehud on the River Jordan and the site believed to be close to where John baptized Jesus and where we will have an opportunity to renew our baptism vows. After a break for lunch we drive up the Jordan Valley and across the Jezreel Valley (the biblical scene of Armageddon) to Mount Tabor and ascend to the summit to visit the Church of the Transfiguration. On descending Mount Tabor we will proceed to the Sea of Galilee and our guest house on the shores of the lake. Dinner and overnight stay by the Sea of Galilee.
Day 7, Wednesday 11th May
After breakfast we drive to Nazareth, the town associated with the beginning of the gospel message, to see how the Good News is both remembered and lived out today. We will begin by joining the local Christian community for worship at Christ Church. Late morning we will visit the site of the only spring in town, where Jesus’ mother will have drawn water, the Basilica of the Annunciation and the Synagogue Church. After a break for lunch we will visit Cana, the site of Jesus’ first sign, before we return to our guest house in good time to freshen up before dinner. Overnight stay by the Sea of Galilee.
Day 8, Thursday 12th May
We begin our day with a visit to the recently excavated site of Magdala, the home town of Jesus friend Mary Magdalene. The excavations have revealed an early synagogue and the remains of a fish smoker. We then travel up to the summit of the Mount of Beatitudes which overlooks the sites of Jesus’ Galilean Ministry. We then have the option of either walking or driving down to our guest house on the Sea of Galilee. After a break for lunch we will sail on a modern-day version of the kind of 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. Return to our guest house. Dinner and overnight stay by the Sea of Galilee.
Day 9, Friday 13th May
We will devote the day 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. After a break for lunch we will have the option of walking along the Sea of Galilee along part of the “Jesus Trail”. Return to our guest house. Dinner and overnight stay by the Sea of Galilee.
Days 10, Thursday 14th May
We leave Galilee and head in a south westerly direction to visit the ancient port-city of Caesarea Maritima, once the capital of Palestine for almost 600 years. The city, built by Herod the Great, was a seaport and comprised of a great artiﬁcial harbour enclosed by two massive stone breakwaters, a Herodian aqueduct and a theatre seating 4,000 people bearing the name Pontius Pilate on an inscribed plaque. Both Paul and Peter visited Caesarea and Philip made his home here. For Christians it is a place of great signiﬁcance as it was here that Peter baptised the ﬁrst Gentile, Cornelius the Roman Centurion. After a break for lunch we proceed to Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport and check-in for our return ﬂight home.