In the footsteps of Jesus
As The Church in Wales in Llandaff Diocese embarks on an ambitious Year of Pilgrimage to reinvigorate its work and worship as part of the Church’s 2020 centenary celebrations we invite you to join us walking in the steps of Jesus in Bethlehem, Nazareth, Galilee and Jerusalem.
For hundreds of years Christians have set aside time out to be with their Lord on pilgrimage in the Holy Land. Those who make the journey will experience moments of learning, conversion and transformation as familiar bible stories come alive and take on new meaning in the places where Jesus lived and died.
Our Pilgrimage will be both an opportunity to support and encourage the Christians there and gain greater understanding of the three Abrahamic faiths – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – for whom Jerusalem is holy. We will meet members of the Palestinian Christian community and local people to gain a deeper understanding both of the challenges and lives of the people who live, work and worship in this Holy City. We know from experience that our time in the Holy Land will be of help and encouragement to our brother and sister Christians who face such difficulties in this place.
We do hope you will join us on this pilgrimage in May 2020.
- Scheduled flights on British Airways from London Heathrow
- 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
- Single room (limited availability) £575
- Travel Insurance
- Gratuities £80
- Any items of a personal nature (laundry & drinks etc)
Day 1, Saturday, 9th May
Journeying to the Holy Land
We gather at London Heathrow for our afternoon flight to Tel Aviv. Dinner served in-flight. On arrival we will be met by our guide and driver and driven up to Jerusalem and our hotel within the Old Walled City. Overnight stay in Jerusalem.
Day 2, Sunday 10th May
After breakfast we begin our pilgrimage by driving to St George’s Cathedral to join with the local Anglican community for Sunday worship. Late morning we leave Jerusalem and drive through the separation wall into the town of Bethlehem to visit the Church of the Nativity, the oldest church in Christendom and the Shepherds Fields in Beth Sahour. We then return to Jerusalem and our hotel in good time for dinner and overnight stay.
Day 3, Monday 11th May
Mt Olives & Mount Zion
This morning we leave our hotel after an early breakfast and drive 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. After a break for lunch we drive across the Kidron Valley to Mount Zion to visit David’s Tomb, the traditional site of the Last Supper Room, the Abbey of the Dormition and finally St Peter in Gallicantu where we recall Peter’s betrayal of Jesus. We will also view the recently excavated steps that lead to the Old City and are probably the very steps that Jesus may have climbed. Return to our hotel in good time to freshen up before dinner. Overnight stay in Jerusalem.
Day 4, Tuesday 12th May
The Old City & Emmaus
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 and AL Aqsa Mosque. We then continue to the beautiful Crusader Church of St Anne built above the twin pools of Bethesda where Jesus cured the sick man. The church built in 1142 by Avda the widow of Baldwin, the first king of Jerusalem, is believed to be on the place where the house of Joachim and Anne, Mary’s parents, once stood and is the most beautiful church in the city. We will then break for lunch. In the afternoon we will begin our walk along the narrow streets of 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. We will bring our day to a close at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Return to our hotel for dinner. Overnight stay in Jerusalem.
Day 5, Wednesday 13th May
Bethany - Dead Sea, Masada & Qumran
After an early start we drive down into the Dead Sea Basin and en-route we will visit Bethany, the home of Jesus’ friends Mary, Martha and Lazarus. We then follow the Dead Sea south to Mount Masada the scene of heroic resistance by Jewish zealots against a Roman army during the final stage of the Jewish revolt. We visit the summit of Masada and then return north to Ein Gedi for lunch and the chance to bathe in the unique mineral-laden waters of the Dead Sea. On our way back to Jerusalem we will visit Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were unearthed and Jericho the oldest city on earth and the first conquest of the Israelites after they crossed the Jordan into Canaan. We spend time in the oasis town that was once the property of Cleopatra who leased it to Herod the Great. We will visit Qasr al Yehud, the traditional baptismal site on the River Jordan and possibly very near the site where John baptised Jesus before we return to Jerusalem arriving in good time for dinner and overnight stay.
Day 6, Thursday 14th May
Emmaus - Nablus - Galilee
This morning we begin by driving to the Israel Museum and the Shrine of the Book to see the Dead Sea Scrolls then drive on to the town of Abu Ghosh, one of the possible sites of Emmaus where we remember the beautiful story of the resurrection appearance of Jesus to his disciples. Leaving Emmaus we head north towards Galilee through the heart of the West Bank, noting as we drive some of the ‘facts on the ground’ about the Occupation, as we come to the city of Nablus. Here we will visit Jacob’s Well, where the Fourth Gospel tells us of Jesus’ encounter with the woman drawing water. We then proceed around the Sea of Galilee and visit the Peniel Chapel to celebrate a Eucahrist overlooking the Sea of Galilee before proceeding to check-in to our hotel on the shores of the lake which will be our home for the final four nights. Dinner and overnight stay by the Sea of Galilee.
Day 7, Friday 15th May
Nazareth - Mt Tabor - Beit Shean
We leave Tiberias after breakfast and drive to central Nazareth to visit the Basilica of the Annunciation and the Greek Church built over the ancient well. We then visit the village of Cana and the Franciscan church built on the site of the house associated with the first miracle. We then drive across the 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. After lunch we drive across to the Jordan Valley to visit the extensive excavations of Beit Shean. The city was a member of the Decapolis and the most important Roman commercial and military centre west of the Jordan at the time of Jesus. John the Baptist may well have preached there and it was on the walls of this city that the Philistines hung the dead body of Saul after his defeat on Mount Gilboa. Return to Tiberias in good time for dinner and overnight stay.
Day 8, Saturday 16th May
morning we follow the ministry of Jesus along the shores of the Sea of Galilee and in the hills overlooking the Lake. We begin with a visit to Tabgha and the Church of the Loaves and Fishes that commemorates the feeding of the 5,000, then on to St Peter’s Primacy Church. At Capernaum the centre of Jesus Galilean ministry we visit the first century house identified as the home of Peter where Jesus would have stayed. We then drive into the hills to the Mount of Beatitudes that overlooks virtually all the places where Jesus lived and worked. After a break for lunch at Kibbutz En Gev we sail on the Sea of Galilee to Nof Ginosar to visit the “Jesus boat” a 1st century boat recovered from the lake. We then make our way back to our hotel. The rest of the afternoon will be free to relax. Dinner and overnight stay by the Sea of Galilee.
Day 9, Sunday 17th May
Acre & relaxation by the lake
We leave Tiberias after an early breakfast and drive to Nazareth where we will join members of the local Anglican community for Sunday worship at Christ Church. Late morning we continue to Acre, the main seaport of the Crusader kingdom. It fell to the First Crusade, surrendered to Saladin, and was retaken for Christendom by Richard the Lionheart. When it finally fell to the Mameluke Sultan Ashraf in 1291 it marked the end of the Crusader adventure overseas. Within its 18th century walls we visit the now subterranean fortress and administrative centre of the Knights of St John of Jerusalem, the last Crusaders to leave Acre. Afterwards we return to our Galilee hotel for our final evening and farewell dinner. Overnight by the Sea of Galilee.
Day 10, Monday 18th May
Caesarea - Journey home
After packing our bags we leave Galilee after an early breakfast to drive south and along the coast to Caesarea Maritima to visit this beautiful Roman and Crusader port city. View the ancient harbour, fortifications, twin aqueducts and theatre. Paul was imprisoned here for almost two years before his trial in Rome. 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 at this historic port we head to Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport and our return flight to London.