diocesan pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 2017


undefinedThis spiritually refreshing and most stimulating pilgrimage will be led by our three Bishops, assisted by the Revd Professor Walter Moberly, who memorably led the Bible Expositions at the last two residential clergy conferences at Swanwick.

It’s planned, as on previous occasions, to charter our own dedicated plane from Manchester to Tel Aviv, which makes the travel arrangements easier.

One of the key purposes of the pilgrimage is to help us better to understand the Bible in its original context. Walter Moberly will help with that and also he’ll reflect on the places we visit, after each evening meal, and assist with worship.

Our pilgrims will have their own dining rooms in specially selected, good quality hotels.

Among the places we will visit: the Mount of Olives and the Garden of Gethsemane; the Upper Room (where tradition holds the Last Supper was held); and the Church of the Nativity and Shepherds’ Fields in Bethlehem.

Pilgrims will also get to walk along the Via Dolorosa (the Way of the Cross), as pictured above, visit the Dead Sea (the lowest point on Earth) and swim there, and visit Bethany, the Church of Mary and Martha, and the Tomb of Lazarus.

Other highlights include visits to: the Sea of Galilee; Mount Tabor (the site of Christ’s Transfiguration); the location where the Lord delivered his Sermon on the Mount; and Yardenit, the baptismal site on the River Jordan.  

Bishop Peter said: “There is always some uncertainty on the political front, but typically Israel is a very safe country, away from certain border areas (which we avoid).  We will visit Bethlehem, and engage with the contemporary situation for Christians in the Holy Land to a degree.  However, the main purpose of the pilgrimage is to make a spiritual journey in the land of the Holy One, and to engage with the Jewish and historical roots of our faith.”

The Revd Canon Diane Cookson will handle the administration, as on previous occasions, and she is available to offer advice as may be needed. An experienced GP will accompany us to provide medical advice and support.

The pilgrimage will take place from Tuesday 28 March to Thursday 6 April 2017.  The cost – at £2,141 per person in a shared (twin-bedded) room – is, of course, not inconsiderable.  Accordingly, payments can be received in stages, if so desired. Also, bursaries of £500 can be offered to help those who might not otherwise be able to come. The Revd Canon Diane Cookson will administer those arrangements.

Included in the total cost are: all flights, tours and transfers; morning and evening meals at the hotels; all excursions and entrance fees; tips for the guides and drivers; and a luggage allowance of 20kg.

Our diocese carefully considered reducing the cost, either by having a shorter pilgrimage, or staying in cheaper hotels/hostels, but concluded that the losses would outweigh any gains.  A shorter pilgrimage would feel too rushed, and the physical demands of the daily routine mean that having good quality (4*+) hotels is particularly welcome. Such hotels also readily provide the private dining room which we find helpful for evening fellowship, talks and activities.

Bishop Peter added: “This in 2017 will, of course, be the final such pilgrimage which I will lead, and I’m sure it will be memorable all round!”

Tour Brochure and Booking Form

If you prefer, contact the Revd Canon Diane Cookson on 0161 483 2633 or email her via st.saviours@virgin.net and she can send you a brochure / booking form.

Three bishops in the River Jordan – from a previous diocesan pilgrimage to the Holy Land

Pilgrims take to the water