Following the recent pilgrimage by people from Liverpool to the Holy Land parishioners from St Justin's, Nablus, which is twinned with St Cecilia and St Oswald, Liverpool, repaid the compliment with a visit to the North West of England. Here they give their impressions of the city and the people:
We from Nablus, Father Johnny, Sameh, Bashar and Louay. When we arrived in the UK we were met at the airport by our brother Father Mark and we travelled to his house in Liverpool. We were very tired as we'd been traveling for nearly twelve hours. Sam had been awake for nearly 48 hours as he had to work before making his way to Amman Jordan for the plane. But we are very happy to be here and excited to be with Father Mark, our friend and brother.
Father Mark explained to us that Saturday was to be a relaxing day for us to do what we want. Father Johnny celebrated a wedding with Father Mark in St. Oswald's and then we attended the two parish Masses and met many people. It was so lovely being here and meeting all those who pray for us every day. We met the African Sisters in St Cecilia's parish and drank with them. They are so full of life that we are asking Father Mark if they can come back to Nablus with us. Father Mark then took us for dinner where we had Yorkshire Puddings for the very first time! Yum!!
On Sunday we met more people including some Knights from the Holy Sepulchre who came to meet us. We then got ready to meet and and have Mass with FLAME, Fr. Mark's people who go to Lourdes with him. We had a great time reflecting on the Parable of the Good Samaritan and then went into the Garden for a barbeque when we celebrated Father Johnny's 40th birthday which takes place in two weeks time.
Whilst Father Johnny rested, FatherMark took us to Liverpool, we saw some of Liverpool at night especially the very beautiful St George's Hall and Fountains. We are happy to be in our Liverpool Home!
Father Mark took us to visit the famous Liverpool. We went to the River Mersey and we all thought how beautiful it was. We had a ride on the River Mersey Ferry Boat and sat as we watched the very nice view. The River is so big and also very windy. We enjoyed our ride on the Liverpool Big Wheel. Father Johnny did not want to go but we pushed him which made us laugh. The Albert Dock was a good time also and we enjoyed visiting Bug World. People in Liverpool are so nice and friendly and we thank them all. The day in Liverpool ended with some shopping in the John Lewis Store where we bought clothes and gifts for our girl friends and mothers back home.
In the evening we met members of Friends of the Holy Land, Father Johnny spoke a lot about life and the problems that we Palestinians face. We thanked everyone for always thinking about us and we promised to pray for everybody every day.