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Read through what Pilgrims have to say. If you would like to include your own comments, send us an email using the form at the bottom of the page. Thanks!

I liked the personal nature of the group, we were able to do and see things and meet people which we could not have done in a large group.   We were led and organised by people we knew – Della had made a point of getting to know us in the year before we left, and we liked the books of scriptures and the book for the itinerary and the liturgies – it enabled us effortlessly to keep a journal.

- Barney

We are so glad that by staying in Bethlehem we were able to experience something of what life is like, cut off by the Wall of Separation, and of the love and fortitude of the people who have to live with it.

- Bill

Going to visit the holy sites was a very humbling and powerful experience.  Personally, the impact was not so much about seeing the true geography or learning interesting historical facts.  Rather, it came from being in the physical place and recognising that Jesus is a real man, who was really born, lived, died and rose again in this real place, and it is only because of this reality that everything is different.

- Chris

Just as the Word resonates within you when praying with scripture, a trip to the Holy Land will break you open and offer you a wealth of images and experiences that will take a lifetime to unpack. This ‘Lectio of the Land’ is a truly contemplative and deeply moving encounter, at once inspiring and confusing, beautiful and painful, peaceful and disturbing. The experience left me changed in ways that are still being revealed and I encourage everyone to take hold of this unique opportunity to be both transformed and challenged

- Eleanor

There are several things that distinguish this pilgrimage, whose hallmark is meticulous and loving planning.  It features a planned series of readings made at key sites and the privilege of having our own daily Mass in the most holy of them.  The pilgrim houses where we stayed provided wonderful food and Christian hospitality. Thanks to Della's belief in the significance of the land as a 'fifth gospel' giving a palpable sense of Jesus and his teaching, we travelled more widely than I had expected, from Caesarea Philippi in the north, along the fabled road to Emmaus, to Jericho, Qum Ran and the Judean desert south of Bethlehem. Through Della's amazing network of contacts in the Holy Land, we had insightful guides and met people living the gospel now.  We met and talked to organisations and individuals who care deeply what happens there today, giving the pilgrimage so much more than a historical or purely biblical perspective.  The whole experience was a revelation - scripture leaping from the page on the way to Nazareth and the waves lapping the shore of the Sea of Galilee. We were left with a lasting and living impression of the Holy Land, blessed by a pilgrimage led by a Lay Benedictine who knows it intimately and loves it with a passion.

- Jane

I always imagined going to the Holy Land was something I'd do later in life: it didn't strike me as an urgent place to visit now, but worth waiting until my faith was more fully developed and grounded.  Since returning, I've found myself saying to everyone who hasn't been yet: "Go as soon as you can! Don't wait!" Being there in those places that we think about and try to envisage so often - in our reading and praying with Scripture, our participation in the liturgy and celebration of the Feasts - has brought the Gospels to life for me in a way I never expected. All the detail is suddenly filled in; stories and incidents in Jesus' life make so much more sense.   I would encourage everyone to have this experience, and to do so in the reflective and distinctive way that our Benedictine community offers to pilgrims. I look forward to being back there this summer, this time sharing the experience with 23 other young people.  I hope they too receive a deep and lasting grace that will empower their discipleship of Christ when they return home, bringing the message of New Life to the ends of the earth!

- Jo

Being in the desert at dawn and celebrating Mass at sunrise was awesome.  It was an experience that I shall never forget.

- Maureen

We were able to plan our own agenda and arrange the itinerary to suit the group; it made for our own parish journey together on pilgrimage.  We want to go again next year, adding in different experiences and different aspects of scripture.

- Pamela

All I will say is that the pilgrimage affected me deeply and I look back on it with immense gratitude.

- Sheila
Bethlehem Evenings are a great way to try and buy Palestinian wines.

Bethlehem Evenings

We are very happy to come to your parish or group to give a presentation, provide Palestinian refreshments and wine tasting as well as bringing the wines, olive wood and oil for people to buy.

Find out more