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Monday, October 24, 2016
Holy Land pilgrimage diary - day one
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 (20 December) The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd Dr Rowan Williams; The Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor; Primate of the Armenian Church of Great Britain, Bishop Nathan Hovhannisian; Free Churches Moderator, the Reverend David Coffey left London this morning by plane for Tel Aviv. They then travelled to Jerusalem for an evening of prayer and reflection. 'We drove to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv airport arriving at the Notre Dame pilgrim hostel near the Damascus gate to be greeted by a bagpipe and drum group. We were piped across the road and into the Christian quarter to meet the 13 Heads of Churches in Jerusalem. The meeting was hosted by the senior among them Greek Patriarch Theophilus. What a colourful and relaxed occasion. The meeting was followed by dinner back at Notre Dame (this time unserenaded by pipes) at which it became clear in speeches and song how welcome we were. The local churches need our support. Just coming to be among the Christians in this place is an act of fraternal solidarity. ' Pilgrimage Prayer Fill us with confidence, Lord God, when your only begotten son comes as our judge. We welcome him with joy as our redeemer: year by year renew that joy as we await the fulfilment of our redemption by Jesus Christ our Lord, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit. God, for ever and ever, Amen Collect, First Vespers of Christmas. Source: Archdiocese of Westminster
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