Bishop Mary's Message about the Pilgrimage to the Holy Land

My first visit to the land of the Holy One was one full of surprises. I had been frankly sceptical about what I would see that was authentic and meaningful. In fact, it was an amazing and life changing encounter and I have not read the Bible in the same way since! Visiting the Holy Land opened my eyes to the powerful experience of walking where Jesus walked and seeing some of the sights that he saw. I hope that you will consider joining me on this pilgrimage.

A pilgrimage is a holy journey that is very different from a vacation or trip taken for sightseeing. It’s a journey to a sacred place to touch and see the places important to our faith. Our Christian tradition holds dear the practice of making pilgrimages as holy experiences of learning, conversion and transformation, and none is more significant than walking the ways of Jesus.

Come and allow your hearts to burn within you and the Scriptures to be opened to you as this pilgrimage and journey of discovery touches our lives in deep, meaningful and often challenging ways. As we follow in the footsteps of Jesus, meet local Christian communities and engage with the current issues on the ground - allow the Scriptures to come alive while you listen, smell and taste the Holy Land of today, and, experience first hand the land where the Holy One walked.

Much of Jesus’ early ministry focused around the Sea of Galilee and the northern region of Palestine. We’ll begin our pilgrimage here by the shores of the Sea of Galilee, where Christ called those first disciples and we’ll be reminded of our own call to follow Him. We will journey to Nazareth where the Angel Gabriel announced to Mary the Good News and where Jesus himself grew up. We’ll proceed to Bethlehem and on to Jerusalem to experience both ancient and ‘living’ stones; the sites and the people who bring this land to life.

Familiar Bible stories will take on flesh and be heard anew. We’ll learn as much from our companions as we do from our surroundings as we worship, journey, eat and relax together.

We’ll be expertly looked after by a long standing Christian tour company based in Jerusalem and their experienced guide, and we will be staying in hotels well situated for all the key sites.

Above all else, we hope this pilgrimage and journey will recapture our imaginations as we live out what it means that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. Join with me on this journey.