Part travelogue, part pilgrimage, part walking journal, part political activisim - this is the record of a six-month walk from London to Jerusalem.
2017 marked three important anniversaries for the Palestinian people: 100 years since the Balfour Declaration; 50 years since the Six-day War; and ten years since the Blockade of Gaza. As an act of penance, solidarity and hope, actor and musician Justin Butcher - along with ten other companions for the full route, plus another hundred joining him for various stretches along the way - walked from London to Jerusalem.
This book is the record of his journey: a combination of walking journal, travel writing and pilgrim stories. It's less of a travel guide to walking across Europe and more an exploration of the many strands radiating from the Holy Land and its narrative, weaving paths across place and history, through the lives of Justin's fellow-walkers - and, of course, his own life.
Between the route itinerary and the themes of Balfour and Christian Zionism, Weizmann and cordite, colonialism, Jerusalem Syndrome and Desert spirituality, Justin charts a chronicle of serendipity - happenstances hilarious, infuriating and occasionally numinous. A chronicle of serendipity - or, as pilgrims might say, encounters with the Divine.
Justin Butcher read Classics Greats at Oxford, trained subsequently at Drama Studio London, and has worked all over the world as actor, writer, director and musician in a vast range of roles and productions in theatre, television, radio and film. He has worked extensively as creative consultant in the business, government and voluntary sectors, across the UK and Europe, Russia, the Middle East and Africa.