Holy Land Pilgrimage 2013
In 2013 thirty members of the East London Three Faiths Forum (largely based in Redbridge) enjoyed a very full and stimulating eight-day tour of the Holy Land (Israel and the Palestinian Territories). Previous pilgrimages to the Holy Land were organised in 2008, 2010 and 2011. The three faith leaders were:
Of the group, 19 were Muslim, 6 were Christian and 5 were of the Jewish faith.
Of course, the highlight of the week was Jerusalem, where the group visited the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Garden of Gethsemane, Yad Vashem (the national memorial to victims of the Holocaust) and the Western Wall. Muslim participants joined in the 4.30am dawn prayers at the Al-Aqsa mosque, as well as sharing in the Friday noon prayers with around 6,000 other worshippers. The tour also took in the tombs of the Patriarchs in Hebron, the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, the ancient ports of Acre, Jaffa and Caesarea, and many sites of Jesus’ early ministry in the Galilee. The group crossed over the Sea of Galilee in a small wooden boat, and had the chance to swim in the Dead Sea, the lowest point on the earth’s surface.
Hopefully, a fifth tour will be organised for the autumn of 2014.