Welcome to the Bethlehem Icon Centre and its Icon School.

Icons have had a treasured place in Palestine since their emergence in the 6th century; perhaps they were first made here, among the monasteries of Byzantine Palestine. 

Situated in a renovated building in the heart of the Old City of Bethlehem we are a small, humble institution dedicated to the restoration of Christian iconography as a living art among the peoples of the Holy Land and beyond. It is our way to help the local Christians stay in the Middle East, and to help visitors to have a deeper spiritual experience of Christ and His Church when they come here on pilgrimage.

We run courses at the Icon School, and give lectures and tours of our Centre, to locals and visitors alike. We also paint icons to commission in our Workshop.

We are a truly ecumenical community, with Greek Orthodox, Melkites, Maronites, Assyrians, Latins, Copts, Anglicans and Armenians among our alumni. We have a open door to all, but seek to remain faithful to Jesus Christ as professed by the 7 Ecumenical Councils. 

We extend a warm invitation to you to come and see for yourself the wonderful world of icons and the people who paint them at the only such institution in the Middle East. 

May Christ Himself bless and keep you.

Ian Knowles,


What does the School and its Centre mean to our students? Let one of them speak for himself...

Icon School

Offers courses in iconography at the Icon Centre and also at the Emmanuel Monastery, both long term and short courses, for locals and for people from around the world.

Icon Workshop

Working strictly to commission under the direction of the Director the workshop dispatches custom made icons to churches and individuals around the world.

Visitor's Centre

As part of Bethlehem’s welcome to the millions of pilgrims and tourists, the BIC has a dedicated visitor’s centre along the ancient pilgrim’s route in the heart of the City.


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lectures and other cultural hubs in Centre.

Upcoming Courses/Events


TERM RESUMES ON Tuesday May 10th.

Diploma Class: 2.30pm

Presentation for all students: 5.30pm 

Next 7 day intensive Icon Painting course: October 6-12 2016 

The icon we will focus on will be a full standing figure of St Francis of Assisi. 

The course is from 9am on October 6th until the evening of the 12th.

How to Find Us



Some of the Bethlehem Icon Centre Professional Training Course students with the new icon of Our Lady of Bethlehem ready for the move to the new Centre in Star Street. With us is the donor of the new premises. Like all our icons, this one is made using the finest natural pigments and gold leaf.