Parish Visit weekend 30/31st March 2019
We are The Good Shepherd Company from the Holy land (Bethlehem) and have a branch based in Nottingham. We work alongside with the St. Vincent De Paul society for orphans and elderly in the Holy land. Our goal is to support and help the Christian families in the Holy Land, to have opportunities to work. Olive Wood carving is one of the most important source of income for them, as 90% of the Christians rely on this sale. So by selling their produce here from the olive wood (rosaries, crosses, cribs and religious statues) on their behalf, this will provide job opportunities for the Christians in the Holy Land and will prevent them from leaving the country in search of better work opportunities. At a recent National Gathering Sami El-Yousef, CEO of the Latin Patriarchate, revealed the dramatic decline of Christians living in Bethlehem over the past 70 years. In 1947 Christians in Bethlehem represented 85% of the community, by 1998 that figure had shrunk to 40%, and now they account for just 18% of the total population. Many Christians have chosen to emigrate rather than face a life of water shortages, travel restrictions, employment discrimination and little or no welfare care. For those who remain we pray that their faith will give them strength and bring them peace, hope and reconciliation. A recent survey from the bishops of Jerusalem there is only forty one thousands Christians left in the area, and this number is falling.
Please come and support this cause for your Christian brethren in the Holy Land.