12.1.14

Pilgrimage

Soon I go to Israel on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. We have a busy itinerary beginning our explorations close to the Old City.

On our first full day, we travel to the Mount of Olives. From there we will be able to see the Golden Gate, the Dome of the Rock and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre from across the Kidron Valley.




At the Dominus Flevit chapel we will celebrate Holy Communion before going on to the Church of All Nations in the Garden of Gethsemane.






Entering the walled city we will see the Pool of Bethesda.

Eating at a convent will break the first full day before we follow the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.


In the afternoon we will be at the Garden Tomb.




On the second day, we cross into Palestinian territory to visit Bethlehem. At Beit Sahour we visit an Olive wood co-operative and then visit the Fields of the Shepherds. After lunch we visit the Grotto of the Nativity and St Jerome's Caves.

On our third day, we drive to Masada and the Dead Sea. Travelling across the Judean wilderness, we will go by cable car to Herod's desert fortress in Masada. In the afternoon we will visit Qumran. At Wadi Qelt, we will be able to see St George's desert monastery.

On the weekend, we visit a Benedictine church at Abu Guosh which is associated with Jesus' post-resurrection appearance at Emmaus. We then visit the Princess Basma Centre. Lunch is in Jerusalem and then we visit the Church of St Peter in Gallicantu on Mount Zion.




Sunday morning worship will take place at St George's Anglican Cathedral before we drive to Jericho. We will pass the mount of Temptation. On the way to Tiberias we call at the al-Qasr baptismal site on the River Jordan. We now begin the second leg of our pilgrimage staying at the next hotel on the Sea of Galilee.

At the beginning of the new week we visit Nazareth, driving up mount Tabor to visit the Church of the Transfiguration on its summit. At Nazareth village there is a first century recreation.



After lunch we visit the Basilica of the Annunciation, the Synagogue Church and Mary's Well at the Orthodox Church of St Gabriel.

On our last full day of the pilgrimage, we will sail to the north of Lake Galilee and visit the ruins of Capernaum. We visit the church built over the house of St Peter. We celebrate Holy Communion on the shores of the lake near the church of the Loaves and Fishes. Lunch is at the convent of the Mount of Beatitudes where we visit the church and the gardens.


On our departure from pilgrimage the following day, we will call at Caesarea Maritima, the port from where Paul, under arrest, was sent to Rome. We lunch in Jaffa before heading home to the UK.

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