New College Staff visit Holy Land

Recently, three New College staff members took a trip to visit the Holy Land with Church of Scotland ministry candidates

Colour photo of Church of Scotland Ministry candidates with New College staff, standing on stairs during a trip to the Holy Land

As well as visiting religious and historical sites, the eight day tour also gave the future ministers a greater understanding of the current situation in the region and provided an opportunity to see how the Church of Scotland, together with its local partners, is making a difference by providing new opportunities and helping promote peace.

The annual Holy Land visit is jointly organised by Edinburgh New College and Glasgow Trinity College, which provide training for ministry candidates, but this year's group was larger than usual after Covid-19 restrictions forced the cancellation of last year's plans. It included eight Church of Scotland probationers, one deacon probationer, five current ministry candidates, a Scottish Episcopal Church ordinand and three staff from Edinburgh New College, while the Glasgow Trinity group includes four probationers, six candidates for ministry and a recently ordained minister, in addition to one member of staff, Professor Scott Spurlock. Representing New College at the trip were Rev Dr Alison Jack, Rev Dr Sandy Forsyth and Rev Professor Susan Hardman Moore.

Along with Old Jerusalem, Biblical locations on the busy itinerary included Capernaum on the Sea of Galilee and what is thought to be the site of the Apostle Peter's mother-in-law's home, while other historic sites visited included Qumran, famous as the location where the Dead Sea Scrolls were hidden, and the mountain fortress of Masada.

A better understanding

A lot of these sites, like the Church of the Nativity or the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, are not at all what you might expect. They are full of noise and bustle and the smell of incense and you see how they are important to the different denominations. By going to the historical sites such as Qumran and Masada, you also get a better understanding of the time in which Jesus lived, so our scholarship is enhanced, as well as our life of faith."

Dr Alison Jack

Read the full story

The eight day trip, was an "eye-opening" experience for Church of Scotland ministry candidates and probationers filled with visits to many different religious and historical sites. Catch up with the full events of the trip by reading the Church of Scotland's news post on their website.

Church of Scotland News Post