James Knox-Whittet has written a book about his pilgrimage experience in 2020. Books cost £7, with all proceeds coming to Friends of the Holy Land. Copies of the book can be obtained by emailing: [email protected]

James writes:

In 2020, just before England’s first national lockdown, my wife and I went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land with a group from Norwich cathedral and this book of poems and photographs is a record of that memorable journey. I have not attempted to write about every aspect of the pilgrimage but only those images which have lodged most firmly in my mind. Each of the poems is written in the form of a traditional sonnet which has proved to be the most enduring form of poetry in English. I think that poetry is an appropriate form in which to write about the life, places and landscapes of Christ as He spoke is the language of a poet and the Bible is filled with poetry.

I think that almost everyone who undertakes a pilgrimage to this extraordinary and troubled land returns with their perceptions subtly altered and their faith challenged and renewed. I hope the words and images in this small book will act as a reminder to those of you who have journeyed to the Holy Land and will act as a stimulus to those who have a longing to go there. The land through which Christ once walked has of course changed throughout the two thousand years but some places still bear the imprints of his presence. In these poems, I have tried to trace something of the imprints of the man who altered our perceptions of life and death.

Below is one of the poems in the book:

The Stranger

A stranger joined us in this walk of pain,
His steps merged with ours through rivers of dust,
When hope was scattered like blown seeds of grain
And our hearts bearing wounds of broken trust.

He met our speech with that depth of silence
Which comes after storms when winds hold their breath,
In the slow aftermath of violence,
Or like the stillness in rooms after death.

We walked on until dusk wove day with night,
Our lengthened shadows merging into one,
His few words burning with an inner light
As if we had moved closer to the sun.

As we walked this path of veined, living stone:
We sensed that when we’re lost, we’re least alone.

To order a book, please email James: [email protected]