Bishop's Christmas greeting features footage from pilgrimage to Bethlehem

Dr Martin Warner, Bishop of Chichester
Dr Martin Warner, Bishop of Chichester

The Bishop of Chichester, Dr Martin Warner, is seen in footage from the actual place of Jesus' birth in Bethlehem during the course of his Christmas greeting for 2018.

Dr Warner joined pilgrims from across Sussex on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in the autumn and the visit to Bethlehem was among the highlights for those who travelled.

"It really was excellent to meet with local Christians in the town of Jesus' birth; a place which has endured many challenges in recent years and to visit the place where, for centuries, Christians have gathered to witness the birth of Jesus," said Dr Warner.

In the film, released on the Chichester diocesan website www.chichester,anglican.org Dr Warner reminds viewers that the Christmas story is not just a mystery fixed in history but "a reality for today".

The struggle of the people of Bethlehem is seen in images during the singing of O Come All Ye Faithful which is led by Dr Warner at the site of the birth itself.

Dr Warner offers greetings of "hope and joy and peace" for the coming year to all those watching as he sends his Christmas greetings to the Diocese and people of Sussex.

"It goes without saying," added the Bishop today, "that the people of Bethlehem and all Christians and peoples in the Holy Land will be at the forefront of our prayers this Christmas."