‘Overcome with emotion’: Gemma Collins shares ‘breathtaking’ experience in Bethlehem

Gemma Collins has shared her delight in visiting the biblical birthplace of Jesus in Bethlehem.

The former The Only Way is Essex star is currently in the West Bank with her fiancé Rami Hawash on what she describes as a “spiritual journey”.

On Sunday (1 January), Collins gave her followers some insight into a particularly meaningful part of her trip – a visit to the Church of the Nativity, which Christian tradition notes as the birthplace of Jesus.

“I am in the church in Bethlehem, I’ve got tears rolling down my face,” she says to the camera.

“This is the most breathtaking, unreal experience of my life. The feeling here, you cannot describe it. It is just overwhelming with emotion. I hope everyone gets to experience this once in their life.”

A later entry in her Instagram stories shows her visibly emotional and holding her hand to her mouth, with a caption that reads: “I was so overcome with emotion.”

Elsewhere, she posted a picture that shows her touching a silver plaque on the ground, representing where Jesus was born.

“BETHLEHEM I can’t believe I’ve been so unbelievably lucky to have been where baby Jesus was born and touch the spot,” Collins captioned the photo. “I am totally blown away and looking forward to my spiritual journeys in 2023.

Gemma Collins was ‘overcome with emotion’ in Bethlehem (Instagram / Gemma Collins)
Gemma Collins was ‘overcome with emotion’ in Bethlehem (Instagram / Gemma Collins)

“The feeling of this was like nothing I’ve ever felt before, I can’t even describe what I felt in that moment, I was totally blown away.”

An additional photo shows her and Hawash posing in the small doorway to the church. Named the “Door of Humility”, it is less than five feet tall and requires its visitors to bow down in order to enter.

In response to Collins’ posts, her followers have been encouraging of her discoveries. Included in her comments section were Jedward, who jokingly wrote: “Gemma you’re our religion.”

Gemma Collins at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem (Instagram / Gemma Collins)
Gemma Collins at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem (Instagram / Gemma Collins)

Collins has previously spoken about her interest in religion and spirituality. In 2020, she claimed to believe that her purpose in life was being “some sort of prophet”.

On her BBC Sounds podcast, she said: “It is something I will talk about in time. I have endured pain and suffering in my life, things haven’t always been easy, I have suffered. And now I can help people in their lives.”