Thursday, 16 July 2009

Bethlehem Art

We had a visit to the parish on Sunday from Bethlehem Art. Christian families living in Bethlehem used to rely on pilgrims and visitors to the Holy Places for their income, but, as visitors have dropped off, the families have found it harder and harder to make ends meet.

The group contacted our Archbishop and got a letter of introduction from him, and, on the basis of that, then contacted various parishes to see if they could sell stuff after Mass.

The carvings are all from olive wood, and they are beautiful. I took a couple of photos of the display in the small hall, but they don't convey the feel of the wood, which is very touchable.

The website can be seen HERE, and, in the UK, you can contact George Rishmawi by email.


Elizabeth said...

We bought a most beautiful statue of Our Lady holding Baby Jesus, the grain of the wood makes it appear that Our Lady is crying and that Her tears are covering the earth. You can see it put aside against the wall, as we reserved it as we did not have sufficient funds with us.
Father Tim blessed it for us and now it stands on our mantlepiece in the lounge where we say our Family Rosary.

We were told that it took three months to carve the statue, so although at first it appeared a little expensive, it was in actual fact the same as paying the craftsman 50p a day for his/her work.

Agnes B Bullock said...

Thanks for the info (I created a link to my blog- I hope you don't mind). In 2003, when my husband and I were celebrating our first married Christmas, we purchased a Nativity set from the vendors at our parish- It comes out every year and remains up through Candlemas. Now I can finally get my last two camels!!! We also have a crucifix for over our bed, both the NAtivit5y and crucifix blessed by our confessor.

George Rishmawy said...

Thank you all for the lovely comments. Your support and hospitality was great when we visited your parish. You have certainly helped and supported many families to survive in my little town of Bethlehem by purchasing our carvings. We are still carrying on with our mission which is to prevent the immigration of christians from my little town by sell our olive wood carving to support ourselves. Thank you again and we hope to visit you and meet with you again soon. Our UK website is and our email is

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