Intrepid travellers from the city of York and the wider region are being invited to join members of York Minster’s congregation on a unique pilgrimage journey to Israel and Palestine in 2019.

Expert guides will lead travellers to the spectacular ancient sites and locations of the biblical Holy Lands and will introduce them to the diverse communities living with the often harsh, contemporary realities of life in one of the world’s most politically troubled regions.

York Minster’s 2019 Encounter Tour to Israel and Palestine is being operated by Embrace the Middle East, York Minster’s current international charity. The 11 day tour will follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ to places such as Jericho, Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Tiberius, Galilee and Nazareth and will introduce traveller to Embrace’s projects on the ground in the region. It will be led by Su McLellan, Senior Regional Manager (Volunteer Development), Embrace the Middle East and The Revd Stephen Griffith, who has lived and worked throughout the Middle East for more than 30 years.

“A pilgrimage to the Holy Land is a very special event in the lives of many Christians. An Embrace the Middle East Encounter Tour will give you the opportunity to visit places that would have been familiar to Jesus as well as those that have developed since, as a result of His life and ministry. You will meet with the ‘Living Stones’ – Christians who live and work in this beautiful but divided land and learn how they act as ‘salt and light’ in their communities. You will see first-hand some of the amazing work done by Embrace’s partners and learn something about their impact on the communities they serve. There will also be opportunity for worship and reflection and time for fun and relaxation too.”

Commenting on the tour, Su said:

Tour details

York Minster’s Encounter Tour to Israel and Palestine - Thursday 9 until Monday 20 May 2019. The tour costs £1590 half-board (single supplement £473). The UK departure airport is Manchester with flights arriving into and departing from Israel Tel Aviv. The tour group is strictly limited to 20 so early booking is strongly recommended. For more information and to request a booking form contact

About the tour leaders

Su McLellan regularly leads groups visiting the Holy Land for pilgrimages, study tours, educational exchanges and olive harvesting trips, as part of her work as the Senior Regional Manager for Embrace the Middle East. She will be responsible for organising the tour, day-to-day practicalities and will be on hand to answer questions about the current political situation and the Embrace Partners that the travellers will meet and the impact of both on people’s lives.

Stephen Griffith has lived and travelled widely in the Middle East, from Aswan to the Black Sea, first visiting the Holy Land as a teenager, studying in Jerusalem, then teaching English and being involved in archaeology there before working as Anglican Chaplain in Jordan and then Syria. He will be Chaplain to the group throughout the pilgrimage.

About Embrace the Middle East

Embrace the Middle East is a Christian charity with over 160 years' experience helping people of all faiths and none to free themselves from a life of poverty and injustice. Together with local Christian communities we're bringing lasting change to the Middle East through healthcare, education and community development projects.

Our vision: Lives and communities in the Middle East transformed by the compassion of Christ.

Our mission: To partner with Middle East Christians as they bring healing and hope to all who face poverty and injustice. For more information go to