'I hope more Baptists will catch on to Tantur'
In 2015 Baptist minister Simon Goddard was able to go on a 10-day trip to the Holy Land thanks to the British Trust for Tantur. Last year he was invited to become one of their trustees. He wants more Baptists to be aware of the opportunities the trust provides
The British Trust for Tantur gives grants to individuals wanting to take advantage of learning opportunities at the Tantur Ecumenical Institute located on the edge of Jerusalem, overlooking Bethlehem. The Institute has a Catholic foundation, but deliberately welcomes visitors from all Christian traditions.
Some scholars and researchers choose to undertake sabbatical research at the Institute’s library, whilst many take advantage of the month long Summer programs. The British Trust awards up to ten grants each year towards the costs of these study opportunities. Grants are often in the range of £2,000 which covers almost two-thirds of the total costs of the course and the flights to Tel Aviv – leaving the students to find the remainder (approx. £1,000).
The Summer programs seek to weave classroom instruction in such topics as Old and New Testament, Biblical Geography, History of the Middle East and Spirituality with guided tours of the many religious and historical sites. In addition, Tantur also hopes to introduce course participants to the people of the Holy Land – Christian, Jew and Muslim – both in their history and in their contemporary existence.
One Baptist minister-in-training who recently benefitted from a grant said: “The British Trust gave me a grant for my trip, and they were fantastic all the way through. I hope more Baptists will catch on to Tantur… it was possibly the most formative month I’ve ever had for ministry!”