An information meeting was held in the halls of St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast, on Thursday July 5 for people interested in the 2013 diocesan pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
The Dean of Belfast, the Very Rev John Mann, welcomed everyone and opened the meeting with a prayer.
The 11–day pilgrimage will take place from November 12 to November 22 2013, and will be arranged by McCabe’s Pilgrimages.
The first two days of the pilgrimage are spent in Jerusalem, followed by an optional trip to Masada and the Dead Sea. There will be a visit to Mount Zion and to Bethlehem.
The pilgrims then move via Caesarea, Haifa and Acre to Tiberias, and the second part of the pilgrimage takes in Jesus’s lakeside ministry, Nazareth and Northern Galilee.
The Bishop of Connor, the Rt Rev Alan Abernethy, who will help to lead the pilgrimage, spoke about his experiences of the Connor visit to the Holy Land in March 2011.
“There is something very holy and special about being in the place where Jesus walked. It is indescribable,” Bishop Alan said.
The place I found most special was the Sea of Galilee – that has not changed since Jesus was there.”
The Bishop continued: “I have preached about these places, but to see the city wall outside of where he was crucified, to see the road from Jerusalem to Jericho. Some of the parables meant so much more than they did before.”
Bishop Alan said the tour had ‘renewed, restored and revived’ his sense of ‘just who this Jesus person was.’
“It is a pilgrimage and it is an experience. There is a lot of fun and laughter but it is a journey together and a journey with Jesus. As a Diocese it gave us a real sense of being together, a sense of belonging,” the Bishop added.
The reason the last pilgrimage had worked so well, Bishop said, was due to the touch of Dean Mann and his wife Helen. “John has a very special gift of making things Holy,” he said.
Dean Mann provided information about travel, weather, food, and the pilgrimage itinerary, illustrated with photographs from the 2011 pilgrimage to give prospective travellers a sense of what they could expect, from the sights to the fellowship, fun and laughter.
The cost of the tour is £1,745 sharing a twin bedded room. Brochures and booking forms are available from Dean Mann at Belfast Cathedral, Donegall Street, Belfast, BT1 2HB; telephone 028 9032 8332 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.