100 pilgrims from 24 parishes took part in the first annual Diocese of Westminster Pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
The pilgrimage took place from 3 - 11 November 2011 and was led by The Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster.
The pilgrimage itinerary included Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Jericho, Nazareth and the Sea of Galilee. On Sunday 6 November the pilgrims joined the parishes of Beit Sahour and Beit Jala, near Bethlehem, for Mass.
Writing in the Pilgrimage handbook, Archbishop Nichols said: “Going on pilgrimage is something we share with many other religions. There seems to be a need within our hearts to journey out in search of God in the places He has revealed himself. When we journey to the Holy Land we remember how it is a holy place for Jews, Christians and Muslims alike. And for centuries people have made their way on pilgrimage to Jerusalem and beyond.”
“We join that long line of pilgrims as we go in search of God who revealed himself in that Land, making it a Holy Land. We will follow in the footsteps of Christ Himself, remembering as we walk, what he did and said as he journeyed to the Cross and the empty tomb. In a very real way we will discover the Living God who has shown his love for us and the whole world precisely in the places we will visit.”
“I pray that each one of us pilgrims will grow in faith, hope and love for the Lord who journeys with us. As we return to the diocese, may we be ready and willing to spread the Gospel of the Holy Land to the people of our time and our land.”
Pilgrims on the Holy Land Pilgrimage come from the following parishes:
Ashford, Barnet, Croxley Green, Eastcote, Enfield, Finchley Church End, Hampstead, Hemel Hempstead, Heston, Holloway, Hounslow, Northwood, Palmers Green, Parsons Green, Pinner, Ponders End, Rickmansworth, Ruislip, Shepherds Bush, Stanmore, Uxbridge, Ware, Watford, Wembley Park .