We have had another wonderful day here in the Holy Land. This morning we visited Saint Vincent’s orphanage where we held service of Holy Communion Before hearing from one of the sisters who helps to look after the children. We then had a joyful and uplifting half an hour spent visiting and seeing the children, 50 children between birth and six years old. Altogether it was a very moving experience.

After that we moved on to the site of the shepherds field, taking shelter for five minutes in the cave underneath the church, a cave very like the kind of cave in which Jesus may have been born.

We took a walk through Bethlehem, manger Square and ended up having an excellent lunch at the Dar al Kalima University College of arts and culture. after this we were able to hear a very informative talk given by the Reverend Dr Mitri Raheb, who had that morning been attending a reception for Prince Charles also in Bethlehem today.

The royal visit caused us quite a few traffic headaches but thankfully we were able to complete our timetable for the day by visiting the Basilica of the Nativity where we queued for about an hour to see the most probable site for Christ’s birth. It didn’t feel like so long in the queue as our guide Peter was able to speak to us through our headsets, telling us all about the history of that incredible building.

Today was the coldest day we have had and very wet at times, But thankfully never at times when we have been outside.

All the days are very full but the group is in great spirits and we are all enjoying learning so much about this wonderful place.

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