The Bethlehem Icon Centre (which operates as a non-profit private limited company) was founded by the British iconographer, Ian Knowles, in 2012. It runs iconography courses in Bethlehem from premises in Star Street, Bethlehem, made available by a generous donor, which were beautifully restored with the help of US Aid and which opened in December 2014. In 2015 the Centre entered into an affiliation agreement with the Prince’s School of Traditional Arts, enabling it to prepare students for the PSTA Diploma in Icon Painting.

The Centre is not only about teaching. It also aims:

  • to renew the practice of and learning about iconography in the Holy Land;
  • to provide local employment by training iconographers for the future;
  • to support the local Christian community;
  • to do so on an ecumenical basis.

It is the only school of iconography in the Middle East.

For more information please see the Centre’s website:

“Paul Ewings and I have known Ian Knowles for many years and admire the commitment he has shown to Christians in the Middle East at a time of great instability for them, especially in the Holy Land. Iconography is his field, and we were impressed by his efforts to do something concrete to strengthen it as a flourishing spiritual art in Bethlehem. We were touched by his dedication and determination, and inspired by his vision, and came to realise just how important this spiritual art is for the Christians there. That is why we decided to support him by establishing a UK charity which could help realise his vision of icon painting as a living art among the Christians of the Holy Land, and we would like to invite you to join us in supporting Christians of the Holy Land in this way.”

Stephen Baister (trustee)