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East Anglia pilgrims in inspirational visit to Holy Land

Pilgrims from the Diocese of East Anglia have visited the Holy Land recently and an opportunity to join a pilgrimage of remembrance to Belgium is being offered in April.

Some 37 pilgrims from across the Diocese spent eight days in the Holy Land in mid September visiting holy places and meeting with the Christians of the region.

In wonderfully warm weather the group travelled to Galilee and celebrated their first Mass on the shores of the lake. Led by Fr Paul Maddison and Deacon Andrew Eburne, the group reflected on the scriptures in so many beautiful places, visiting Capernaum, Nazareth, Tabor, Jericho, Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Ain Karem.

Fr Paul said: "On Sunday we celebrated Mass with the parish in Beit Jala which was an inspirational event. After Mass we had coffee with the parishioners and learnt how difficult it is for them to live their faith in that part of the world. Fr Johnny, priest at Beit Jala, said how welcome we were and how encouraged the local community felt knowing that they had the prayers of our diocese back in the UK.

"We also visited a refugee camp and met with the staff and students of Bethlehem University, giving us a wonderful insight into the work of the Catholic church in the Holy Land. One of our pilgrims summed up her experience by saying that not only had the scriptures been brought to life but that she had also seen the faith and hope of the Christian community in the land of Jesus, which had strengthened her own faith.

Pictured above are East Anglia pilgrims renewing baptismal vows at the River Jordan.

Pilgrimage of remembrance opportunity

At the end of April 2018, the 100th anniversary of the end of World War 1, Fr Tony Rogers and Fr Paul Maddison are leading a Diocesan pilgrimage to Flanders on behalf of Bishop Alan to remember all the fallen from across our diocese.

Travelling by coach, pilgrims will visit several of the places associated with soldiers from the diocese as well as laying a wreath at the Menin Gate in Ypres.

The cost of the five-day pilgrimage is £650 and more information is available from Pilgrimage People on 0800 6123423 or email: quoting tour code ANGL07. Places are limited and need to be booked by the end of October.

Pictured above is the Menin Gate in Ypres, taken by Bernt Rostad.