The Downside/Clifton young persons pilgrimage to the Holy Land has now returned. The group of 48 pilgrims spent ten days covering many of the most holy sites related to our faith. Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Jericho, Bethany and Nazareth were just some of the locations visited. Masses were celebrated in the Church of the Nativity and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and many other special sites, including an open air Mass overlooking the Sea of Galilee. As well as the holy sites, pilgrims also enjoyed a camel ride; floating in the Dead Sea and rafting too.

Check out our blog with lots of photos:

Rina Bird of Downside, who had the vision for this young persons pilgrimage, and did all the organising was delighted with how it all went. Fr Thaddaus Schreiber, a Benedictine monk from Ettal, Bavaria, and good friend of Downside also joined the pilgrimage and got a great deal out of the experience.

Fr Matt Anscombe, Vocations Director for Clifton Diocese, who had never been to the Holy Land before, commented:

“This was an incredible pilgrimage. What a joy to see so many young people, alive in their faith, exploring those sites which are so sacred to our faith. Wow, it was hot! 42 degrees at the Dead Sea and the Sea of Galilee but that just added to the specialness of the trip. It’s great to be able to accompany and encourage young people and to get the opportunity to preach openly and directly about vocation. Also, it was important for us to understand about the political situation in the Holy Land and to support the Palestinian Christians. I’m sure this pilgrimage will bear much fruit in the lives of all who went. I’m looking forward to the next one in 2019.”