Ecumenism: The Next Generation – Exploring the Holy Land

A webinar for young ecumenists to introduce them to the opportunities and challenges of the Holy Land. Tuesday 4 July at 6pm.

The Holy Land is one of the most disputed and fought-over parts of the globe, with sites which are precious to three of the world’s major religions.

Many Christians – of whatever tradition – find visiting Israel and Palestine a life-transforming experience. But it can be one mired in historical and contemporary religious and political divides.

In this webinar, we bring together people with first-hand experience of working or visiting the Holy Land as ecumenists.

In a fast-paced hour, we’ll hear their perspectives on the opportunities and challenges for fellow Christians. There’ll also be time for discussion and questions.

This is the second webinar in the Ecumenism: The Next Generation series. It is aimed at young church leaders from 18 to 35, but everyone is welcome.

In Autumn 2023, Churches Together in England will be launching The Bill Snelson Young Ecumenists Fund. Through this, we will distribute grants of up to £6,000 a year (in total) to young leaders to help them enjoy ecumenical exploration – study, volunteering, pilgrimage – abroad. For some, the Holy Land could be their chosen destination, hence the topic of this session.

This webinar will be hosted by the Churches Together in England Principal Officer for Pentecostal, Charismatic and Multi-cultural Relations Min. Shermara Fletcher and the Mission Adviser from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, Elliot Vanstone.

Download the event flyer.

Our speaker

Dr Lisa Adjei, British Church Relations Manager, Christian Aid
Dr Lisa Adjei holds a PhD in Biochemistry & Physiology from the University of Surrey in Guildford. Dr. Lisa is the founder of Sankofa Collective, an ecumenical racial justice and reconciliation community for Christians and sits as chair of a global ecumenical youth climate movement called Climate YES, working with young activists from around the world. Her role at Christian Aid seeks to support denominational leaders across the United Kingdom in justice and mission. She works very closely with CTE, sitting on the Board of Trustees, the Racial Justice Working Group as the chair of their Theology sub-group and on the millennial leader’s forum, Emerge. Lisa is currently an active member of Trinity Baptist Church based at Oasis House and serving their young adult congregation.

Contributions from

Brendan Metcalfe, Executive Director, Friends of the Holy Land
Brendan has led Friends of the Holy Land – a Charity and Network in Association with CTE – for more than 4 years. Before that be lived and travelled in the Middle East for almost 10 years. Friends of the Holy Land works ecumenically and has the backing and blessing of Anglican and Catholic Bishops and other church leaders. They focus on encouraging Christians to remain in the land of their birth by supporting them to build resilient and self-sufficient communities, in what can often be a challenging environment. With the unique status of being registered as a charity both in the UK and in the Holy Land, our team helps donors have an immediate impact on our mission.

Molly Conrad, Partnerships and Public Affairs Officer, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales
After graduating from Exeter University with a degree in Theology and Religion, Molly joined the Public Affairs Team at the Catholic Education Service. She later became Partnerships and Public Affairs Officer for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference, where she represents the bishops in both Westminster and the Welsh Senedd. Her role also includes co-ordinating the bishops’ parliamentary internship scheme, ‘Faith in Politics’ where she has led trips to the Holy Land for two internship cohorts. Molly has a particular interest in analysing religion and spirituality through a sociological lens, especially on topics such as interfaith relations, gender and mental health.

James Roberts, Senior Programme Manager, Council of Christians and Jews (CCJ)
James has recently completed a DPhil (PhD) in theology, focusing on the Russian Orthodox monastic Mother Maria Skobtsova, and he is a member of the inter-faith theological advisory group for Churches Together Britain and Ireland. Prior to joining CCJ, James worked as an Associate at the Good Faith Partnership where he co-authored a report on faith communities and Covid recovery, and assisted with an online study programme about Israel-Palestine dialogue for senior faith leaders. James is an Anglican, with experience working in churches in Belgium and Oxford. He is passionate about interfaith work, ecumenism, and helping faith communities work together for social change.

Paul Gibson, Ecumenical Accompanier, EAPPI programme
Paul has recently returned from the West Bank where he lived in the South Hebron Hills as an Ecumenical Accompanier on the EAPPI programme, which in the UK is coordinated by the Quakers. The Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) is an international programme coordinated by the World Council of Churches. It brings people from around the world to the West Bank to serve for three months as human rights monitors. Now back in Scotland, Paul is planning to advocate for those he met during his time in Israel and Palestine and hopes to make these lives appear relevant to people back home. Paul heard about EAPPI through his involvement with the Iona Community.

George Sa’adeh, Headteacher, Shepherds High School in Beit Sahour
George was born in Bethlehem in 1961. He was Deputy Mayor of Bethlehem from 2005 – 2012, is a member of the Russian Orthodox Emperor Society in Bethlehem and has been a member of the Israeli-Palestinian Parent Circle Forum for Bereaved Families since 2013. He worships at a Greek Orthodox church.

Book a place at Ecumenism: The Next Generation – Exploring the Holy Land on Tuesday 4 July at 6pm.

Download a poster for this event.