Bishop Alistair Magowan, Bishop of Ludlow and Acting Bishop of Hereford led our 4th briefing tour of Israel. The Briefing tours take senior Church leaders to Israel and the West Bank to get a better and informed understanding of the current situation. They travel the length and
breadth of the region including the Golan Heights, the Gaza Kerem Shalom crossing, Sderot, Ramallah as well as Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
They hear a cross section of voices and narratives from the community in Shiloh to the PLO in Ramallah and everything in between. We organise these visits jointly with the Council of Christians and Jews and the Greenwood Trust. Here are some of the comments we received after this year’s visit:
‘The uniqueness of this trip lies in the variety of experiences it has offered (political, spiritual, historical), alongside access to such a remarkable range of people and places. I think we in the West have to be very cautious before pronouncing apparently simple solutions to this most complex political world’
‘The variety of group, with their wide range of backgrounds and experience, provided not just friendship but also a very helpful forum in which to tease out our developing impressions and reflections. It was a powerful and perspective-changing visit for which I am immensely grateful’
‘We could not have been more privileged to have such a wide spectrum of views on the tour. From the PLO to the Settler, from political and religious leaders and from both young and old, religious and secular civilians’
‘When the historical and political elements of the tour are combined with the religious insights of the participants this should and did provide a very informed and balanced platform for debate both now and in the future. This tour exceeded my expectations. It severely challenged my existing preconceptions of Israel and through the power and weight of dialogue (and the quality of participants) the tour enabled me to re-evaluate and deepen my position. I came away with an enhanced sense of engagement with the Jewish people and great respect for their struggle for justice and acceptance. The real strength of the tour was to allow this to happen naturally and not attempt to force participants into a particular line of thought’.
“The tour provided a helpful and creative way into understanding Israel’s security concerns and the narrative that supports them”. Charles Reed
“I came away with a strong sense of Israel’s encirclement and lack of security and how security will be a crucial aspect of the current talks”
“It was the most amazing experience and I loved every minute of it.
I learned so much both about the geography of Israel and how the Biblical sites all fit together, and also the political situation, and have come home with a very different perspective on Israel than I had before I went” Revd Simon Allerby
“The uniqueness of this trip lies in the variety of experiences it has offered (political, spiritual, historical), alongside access to such a remarkable range of people and places”
It was a powerful and perspective-changing visit, for which I am immensely grateful to you and your very generous sponsors”. Very RevdJonathan Greener
“My only suggestion would be to do a little less and so allow more space for reflection. However, having said that, I’m not sure what I would want to miss out on! Part of what was so good about the tour was the shear amount of places/people visited”. Revd P J Guy
“This tour exceeded my expectations. It severely challenged my existing preconceptions of Israel and through the power and weight of dialogue (and the quality of participants) the tour enabled me to re-evaluate and deepen my position. I came away with an enhanced sense of engagement with the Jewish people and great respect for their struggle for justice and acceptance. The real strength of the tour was to allow this to happen naturally and not attempt to force participants into a particular line of thought”. Revd CanonDavid Stanton
“Without the visits to Gaza/West Bank and the ability to hear various voices within the Palestinian Authorities there would have been an acute sense that we were being shielded from many of the problems that beset the State of Israel. The fact that we were given access to Palestinians and Christians within the occupied territories and could freely hear their opinions was of considerable credit to our sponsors” RevdNicholas Mercer
“The study tour has been the experience of a life time” The Revd Dr Sebastian T Mattapally
“I loved the trip. I value the effort which you guys have put in it, the people were great and I came away learning many new things, a lifetime of reflection will follow” Revd Timothy Ezat
“I have been to Israel before, but this tour gave me a completely fresh perspective, which will enrich my preaching and my prayers”
“I am most grateful for the fascinating experience that this tour has afforded me. David, Jacob, Ruth and Alastair worked so hard to look after us all, and each brought valuable insights. A particular highlight and feature of the tour was the remarkable group of fellow participants, who each contributed so much from their own life experience”. RevdMark Ireland