Holy Land PILGRIMAGE
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JOIN US for a special 10-day pilgrimage to the land of the Holy One:
7–16 December 2019
The pilgrimage will be led by Dean Greg Jenks. A former Dean of St George's College in Jerusalem, Dr Jenks is also a co-director of the Bethsaida Excavations Project in the Galilee. He is familiar with many of the historical and religious highlights of this remarkable place
come ... see ... encounter ... pray ...
The US$2,500 cost for this exciting program excludes air travel and insurance, but includes all other in-country expenses: accommodation (twin share), all meals, land transfers, guide fees and entrance charges. Single room supplement: US$590.
There is also the option of participating in the 2019 Sabeel International Gathering in Bethlehem and Jerusalem during the previous week: 2–7 December. The cost for the Sabeel program is US$1,150 (US$400 single supplement).
To register for the Cathedral Pilgrimage, complete the online registration form and return it to the Grafton Cathedral office at your earliest convenience. Places are being limited to 20 participants to ensure a more personal experience for everyone.
Payment schedule: A deposit of US$500 is required at the time of booking. A further payment is required by 31 July with full payment by 31 August 2019. Full refunds are available until 31 August 2019, after which $250 from the deposit paid at the time of booking will be retained to cover costs already incurred with all other funds being fully refunded.
Please note that all prices are quoted in US dollars, but the deposit can be made in Australian dollars for convenience and the final balance payable adjusted when making the last payment.
Payment information for people wishing to pay by direct deposit is available here.
Please arrange your in-coming travel so that you arrive at Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv on Saturday, 7 December.
From there we will arrange for your transfer to Nazareth where we will be staying at the Sisters of Nazareth Convent, right in the heart of the Old City and about 100m from the Basilica of the Annunciation. It is the Dean's favourite place to stay in Nazareth. The significance of this location will become clearer to you once we spend a few days there.
Mission Travel have agreed to assist with the travel arrangements for anyone joining this pilgrimage. Mission Travel is a faith-based organisation, which donates 50% of its profits to mission work. Dr Jenks has worked with them for many years when arranging travel for groups of students going to participate in the Bethsaida archaeology dig, and always uses them for his own travel arrangements.
Key staff: Lisa Tarzia or Audrey Warren
Telephone: 1300 554 654
In the past few weeks they have split their business into two operations: Mission Travel (which supports travel for mission groups) and Selah (which provides support to pilgrimages and retreat programs).
You are, of course, welcome to make your own travel arrangements, and may be able to use frequent flier points to cover some of your travel costs. However, if you are wishing to work with a reputable travel company that has considerable experience in arranging travel to the Middle East, then we highly recommend Mission Travel and their new program, Selah
If you are going to join us for the Sabeel International Conference (2-7 December), you will need to arrive earlier. Again, please liaise with us about your travel plans, and keep in mind that the staff at Mission Travel (Selah) will be happy to assist with your travel arrangements.
We will fine tune all these local transfer arrangements as part of the program.
5 nights in Nazareth, 5 nights in Jerusalem
The itinerary is subject to change due to local circumstances at the discretion of the program leader, but the following details indicate the kind of schedule that we have in mind:
Sat — Dec 7: Arrive in Israel and transfer to Nazareth. For those arriving on the Cathay Pacific flight around 7am, we will arrange a morning tour of Joppa (Yaffa, Yafo) finishing with lunch in Joppa before we head north to Nazareth, possibly collecting any late arrivals from Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv on our way north. Check into the Sisters of Nazareth Convent, our base for the next few days. Participants are welcome to arrive earlier to allow more time to adjust following their flights. We are able to assist with hotel bookings prior to the commencement of the program or after it concludes
SUN — Dec 8: 10.00am worship at Christ Church, Nazareth. Lunch in Nazareth. Visit Mt Tabor early afternoon then overview of Nazareth from Mt Precipice. Orientation walking tour of Nazareth Old City. Evening free.
Mon — Dec 9: Early morning lecture before visiting the Roman Catholic Basilica of the Annunciation, the Synagogue Church, El Babour Mill and the Greek Orthodox Church of St Gabriel. Lunch in the square at Mary's Well. Afternoon free to explore the city. Evening meeting with members of Nazareth Sabeel.
Tue — Dec 10: Visit holy sites by the Sea of Galilee: Magdala, Mt Beatitudes, Tabgha, Capernaum and Bethsaida. Eucharist at Bethsaida. Lunch. Return to Nazareth. Late afternoon and evening free.
Wed — Dec 11: Morning visit to Banias (Caesarea Philippi). Lunch at Banias. Afternoon visit to Sepphoris, the capital of the Galilee in the time of Jesus. Evening free.
Thr — Dec 12: Early morning visit to the excavations below the Sisters of Nazareth Convent. Travel south along Jordan Valley Highway. Visit Qasra al-Yehud, the site of Jesus’ baptism. Lunch at Qumran. Tour of Qumran ruins and visit to the Dead Sea shoreline. Late afternoon arrival in Jerusalem. Check into the Golden Walls Hotel, our base for the next few days. Optional orientation walking tour. Evening free.
Fri — Dec 13: Transfer by bus to Masada, the iconic desert fortress built by Herod and the site of the final resistance by Jewish rebels after the fall of Jerusalem. Lunch at Masada. Overview of Wadi Qelt on the return trip to Jerusalem. Late afternoon Shabbat prayers at the Western Wall. Evening free.
Sat — Dec 14: Visit the Shepherds Fields and Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. Lunch in Bethlehem. Afternoon free. Evening free.
SUN — Dec 15: 09.30am worship at St George’s Cathedral, Jerusalem. Afternoon visit to Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial. Evening lecture to prepare for the next day.
Mon — Dec 16: Morning visit to the City of David excavations and the Temple Mount historical precinct. Lunch in the Old City. Afternoon visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Final dinner together. Departure for Ben Gurion Airport at Tel Aviv as per personal travel schedules. For those on flights leaving in the early hours of Tuesday no additional accommodation will be needed, but those of us on flights leaving mid-morning or later on Tuesday will need to arrange accommodation for an extra night. This can be by your own arrangement, or we can book an extra night at the Golden Walls Hotel for those who prefer to stay with the group. The cost for this additional night is not included in the pilgrimage package but will be quite modest.