Holy Land Pilgrims see sacred sites
During May, 42 people from across the Diocese of St Albans visited the Holy Land. Among them was Peter Crumpler, who wrote this moving reflection (below) for the St Albans Review.
The Pilgrimage, led by Archdeacon Paul and Canon Liz Hughes, visited Jerusalem, the Western Wall and Bethany, Masada and the Dead Sea, Bethlehem, Jericho and the Jordan Valley and Nazareth and the sites of Jesus’s ministry around Galillee. The group shared the eucharist on the shores of the Lake, at Tabgha, beside the Church of the loaves and fishes. Canon Liz Hughes celebrated.Here is a selection of photographs of the trip taken by participants, for which, many thanks. More photos can be seen at:
Discovering shared humanity on the Via Dolorosa
The Revd Peter Crumpler, pictured above, writes:
“When news broke of the terror attack in Manchester on 22nd May, I was midway through a Holy Land pilgrimage in Israel.
We had left behind the bustle of Jerusalem and were now settled on the peaceful shores of Lake Galilee in the north of the country. A far cry from the horrific scenes unfolding back home.
As part of a group from churches across St Albans diocese, we had traced the footsteps of Jesus around the ancient city. We were just beginning to explore the country places where Jesus grew up and began his preaching and healing. We were in a region with a long history of violence and war, with gun-carrying soldiers much in evidence, and the Israeli security wall a reminder of the tensions that persist.
And yet, the desperate news from home was a reminder of how we all share a common humanity.
Wherever we went, shocked Israelis, Arabs and fellow pilgrims from around the world expressed their sympathy at the attack in Manchester. People from all backgrounds asked if were from the city or had relatives there. We were united in horror at the massacre.
As we toured a country that holds holy sites for Christianity, Judaism and Islam, we wondered at what perverted form of religion could lead to such an attack.
And as a Christian pilgrim standing where Jesus would have stood and seeing scenes he would have known, I prayed for peacemakers and for peace, and for the work to begin with me.”