This Christmas, in celebration of the ‘little town of Bethlehem’, the Bethlehem Unwrapped festival will support Holy Land Trust’s unique work providing non-violence training for children, young people and adults.
Justin Butcher web “I visited Bethlehem for the first time last year and came away profoundly inspired by the extraordinary peace-makers I met on both sides of the divide. In Bethlehem, a new cultural phenomenon is springing up, which Palestinians describe as ‘Beautiful Resistance’ – in art, music, dance and drama, street theatre and comedy – expressing their determination to resist injustice and to celebrate their hope for freedom in the seeming absence of all hope. It’s my hope that the Bethlehem Unwrapped festival, with its amazing and eclectic line-up of artists and events, will give audiences here in the UK the chance to experience some of the hope of the people of Bethlehem this Christmas.”
Justin Butcher, Creative Director
Lucy Winkett “St James’s Church welcomes you to Bethlehem Unwrapped 23rd December 2013 – 5th January 2014. At Christmas, we sing about the “little town of Bethlehem”. This Christmas, we are hosting a festival celebrating the people of Bethlehem today and drawing attention to the Barrier that affects every aspect of daily life. The wall in our courtyard is a replica segment of the wall that surrounds Bethlehem. It is 8 metres tall because the real wall is 8 metres. It obscures the view of this historic church because that is what has happened to Bethlehem’s holy sites and historic places.
In 2009, Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem issued a joint appeal to Christians throughout the world to understand and help to alleviate the desperate hardship the wall has caused. It is a daily disaster for ordinary Palestinian families. In hosting this festival, St James’s Church joins the movement in Bethlehem known as “beautiful resistance”, celebrating the culture, music, food and humour of those who live behind the Wall. St James’s stands in solidarity with the universal call for a just and sustainable solution for both Palestinians and Israelis. The stated aim of the wall at its inception in 2002 was to protect Israeli citizens from terrorism. St James’s Church opposes all forms of racism including anti-Semitism and supports the right of the State of Israel to exist with secure internationally recognised borders.