British Association of IconographersVoluntary project for the Melkite Church of the Sermon on the Mount‚ Ibillin, Israel.
In 2004/5 a dozen people from the British Association of Iconographers under the direction of Sister Bernadette Crook worked on an Iconostasis for a newly built Church in Ibillin, Israel. The Iconostasis contains over 40 icons of various sizes. The BAI was approached by Elias Chacour a Palestinian Melkite Priest who has lived and worked in Ibillin for many years and is now the ArchBishop of Galilee.
Elias is the author of Blood Brothers - an account of his life. From an early age Elias had a strong call to serve the Church and after years of study was ordained becoming the first Palestinian to earn a degree from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
Today Elias ministry is one of reconciliation and peace between Christians, Muslims, Druze and Jews. The newly built Church in Ibillin is a Chapel of Peace with the Iconostasis reflecting the positive relationships between people of different faiths and cultures.
For example the icon of Elijah (written by Sister Bernadette) which traditionally shows a raven sent by God bringing sustenance to Elijah in the desert instead shows Bedouin bringing food. This is based on a translation of scripture which suggests the word raven has been mis-translated and should read Arab.
I worked mainly on the icon of Saint Andrew and Saint Peter and was privileged to be in attendance for the dedication of the Church and Iconostasis in 2005.