*** DEBUG END ***

Holy Land visits

15 December 2010


From the Revd Pat Clegg

Sir, — As a frequent visitor to the Holy Land, I read the article accompanying the full-page advertisement feature on pilgrimages (10 December) with interest, and surprise. In particular, I was amazed by the lack of some key features. I quote: “The view from the Mount of Olives is wondrous,” which makes no mention of the Dome of the Rock without which the view would be less than wondrous. I was less amazed that no mention was made of the check­point at the Separation Wall into Bethlehem as pilgrim groups routinely pass through uninterrupted.

A greater concern was that, as the focus was on Christian pilgrimages, there was no mention of the potential for engagement with our Palestinian Christian brothers and sisters, a sad omission. On 9 December 2009, the Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem issued the Palestine Kairos Docu­ment, which is, as its introduction states, a cry “from within the suffering of our country”. They go on to invite us to “come and see” in order to more fully understand the urgency of their cry.

To walk the way of Jesus is to experience, at first hand, life as in Jesus’s day with the indigenous population living under an oppressive militarised regime. It is painful to witness and challenging to leave behind.

Without hesitation, I would wish to encourage visits to the Holy Land, both Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, but to do so with a willingness to engage with peoples of all faiths, and crucially Christians, to listen to their stories alongside those from scripture; to see the reality on the ground, and then to rejoice in the steadfastness of those who sincerely work for peace with justice on all sides.

28 Bishops Drive, Salisbury
Wiltshire SP2 8NZ

Letters to the editor

Letters for publication should be sent to letters@churchtimes.co.uk.

Letters should be exclusive to the Church Times, and include a full postal address. Your name and address will appear alongside your letter.

Train-a-Priest Fund 2022 Appeal

Please consider a donation to TAP Africa this year. Every penny you can give goes to ordinands in Africa who face financial difficulty, to support them as they complete their training. 

Donate online

Read more about this year's appeal

Forthcoming Events

24 May 2022
Disability and Church: Intersectionality
A joint webinar from HeartEdge and Church Times.

2 July 2022
Bringing Down the Mighty: Church, Theology and Structural Injustice
With Anthony Reddie, Azariah France-Williams, Mariama Ifode-Blease, Luke Larner, Will Moore, Stewart Rapley and Victoria Turner.

More events

Welcome to the Church Times

​To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)