Bishop William Shomali, Patriarchal Vicar for Jerusalem, presented Pilgrimage People CEO Fr Paul Maddison, with an honorary medal during a recent visit to Jerusalem by a group from the charity.
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, who is parish priest in March, said: "When our pilgrims go home after visiting the Holy Land and 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.
The Pilgrimage People group of trustees and supporters were also able to meet Henrique Abreu ' Head of the Project Development Office ' and hear about projects the Patriarchate is already supporting and future ones in the pipeline.
During their visit to 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.”
Pictured above, Fr Paul Maddison,Pilgrimage People CEO, left, receives the honorary medal from Bishop William Shomali, Patriarchal Vicar for Jerusalem.