JERUSALEM – A group from Pilgrimage People, a Cambridge-based charitable travel company, visited the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem where Bishop William Shomali, Patriarchal Vicar for Jerusalem, presented the charity’s CEO Fr. Paul Maddison, with an honorary medal in recognition of their humanitarian work.
The Diocese of East Anglia, which helped set up Pilgrimage People, is twinned with the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, and the charity has worked with the Patriarchate to help fund a number of social action and humanitarian projects across Palestine over the past few years.
Bishop William said: “We are optimistic that people are still visiting Jerusalem even with the increase in violence we have seen in the region. If people come, they are courageous and will hear of the reality of our situation.”
Fr. Paul said: “When our pilgrims go home after visiting the Holy Land and seeing some of the Patriarchate’s projects, they are able to tell the real stories of the country and people hear a different narrative than the one they often hear on the news.”
During the visit, The Pilgrimage People group of trustees and supporters had the opportunity to meet Henrique Abreu, Head of the Project Development Office, and hear from him about projects that the Patriarchate is already supporting and future ones that are in the making.
In the course of their stay in the Holy Land, the group visited projects the charity had already supported which included refitting a kitchen at an old people’s home in Taybeh, a community playground and garden project in Jifna and funding to refurbish the project development office at the Patriarchate itself.
“We were delighted to be able to meet Bishop William and Henrique” said Fr. Paul, “and humbled to receive the medal in recognition of the help we have been able to give to the Patriarchate projects.”