Example itinerary: Palestine and Israel (8/11/13 days)
We hope to see the sun rise in the desert or over the Sea of Galilee, to share the Passion and Resurrection of Christ in Jerusalem and to walk with Him in the hills of the Galilee. A usual pilgrimage will be for 11/13 days including travelling to and from the UK. However - we have made a half-term pilgrimage in 8 days and it worked fine - please ask for details. We adapt the itinerary according to the group and the time they have available. Most priests can only be away for one Sunday and we build the pilgrimage around this.
Direct flight to Tel Aviv, Israel and transfer to Bethlehem
Day 2, 3, 4, 5 (or less)
Based in Bethlehem to absorb the reality of the Incarnation and the life of early Christian communities - the Shepherds' Fields, the Basilica of the Nativity, Jericho, the Dead Sea and the Judaean desert; meeting and praying with the Christian community.
Day 6, 7, 8
To Jerusalem and a walking introduction to the Old City including the four Quarters, the Western Wall and the Temple Mount. The next two days following the Passion of Christ and celebrating the Resurrection at Emmaus and the founding of the Church.
Day 9,10,11,12 (or less)
In the north of Israel, staying at the Sea of Galilee and visiting the sites of Jesus’ early life and his ministry - Nazareth, Sepphoris, Mount Tabor, Tabgha, Capernaum; taking a boat-ride and walking in the hills and along the shore of the Sea of Galilee.
Closing the pilgrimage via Mount Carmel and Caesarea Maritima for the flight to the UK from Tel Aviv.
Example itinerary: Beginning in Jordan and continuing to Palestine and Israel (10/15 days)
"Moses to Jesus"
We fly direct to Amman and return from Amman or Tel Aviv.
The attraction of adding Jordan is to add the drama of the last part of the Exodus journey and enhance the pilgrimage to Palestine and Israel absorbing the fulfillment of Salvation history in Jesus. The Jordan basin just north of the Dead Sea has been exceptionally holy ground for over three thousand years - for Joshua crossing the Jordan, Elijah leaving in a chariot of fire, and the wilderness home of John the Baptist where Jesus was Baptised. St John was beheaded not far away in Herod's palace at Mukawir.
We usually base ourselves in Madaba (biblical Medeba) for two nights, visit the shrine of John the Baptist, the Moabite well still producing beautiful water, and the 6th century mosaic Madaba Map. We visit the Baptism site of Jesus and renew our Baptismal promises and chill out for an afternoon at the Dead Sea.
An extra 2/3 days will allow us to begin south in Petra and the wilderness of biblical Punan. In both cases we cross the river Jordan to Palestine and Israel to continue the pilgrimage of the life and ministry of Jesus.
Please ask us for more detail of either of the pilgrimages adding Jordan. As always, we design the itinerary to suit the interests of the parish or group.
Itineraries for Biblical Jordan (7/9/11 days)
We begin with Moses in Petra and Punan in the rift valley and follow Moses' Exodus journey to Mount Nebo - taking a little longer and savouring the incredible contrasts of the geography of wilderness, lush valleys, dramatic canyons and the Dead Sea. We take in Lot, Sodom and Gomorrah, Elijah, Joshua, and Jacob, and the different tribes of the Old Testament before turning to John the Baptist and Jesus at the River Jordan.
In the fertile mountains of north Jordan we encounter the birth and growth of the Early Church in the Decapolis cities where Jesus preached - particularly in the cities of Jerash and Gadera (miracle of the Gaderene swine). Jerash is the best preserved Roman city outside Rome and Jordanian Christians are the oldest Christian community in the world. Many of the original converts were joined by Christians fleeing Jerusalem in the early centuries to avoid Roman persecution. We meet, celebrate Mass and engage with them just as we do in Palestine and Israel. We enjoy the spectacular views across the Jordan valley to Israel and the Sea of Galilee and the Crusader castles of Jordan.
Biblical Jordan is a very rich part of our Christian heritage and a pilgrimage in Jordan is particularly valuable for pilgrims who have already been to Palestine and Israel. The Old Testament comes to life by walking the land - just as the Gospels and New Testament do in Palestine and Israel.