From London to Paris walking by faith in hope

by Kit Powney last modified 23 November 2015 02:17 PM
From London to Paris walking by faith in hope

The pilgrimage is also a call to maintain the momentum long after the Paris talks have closed. © Christian Aid

23 November 2015

It has been ten days since the Pilgrimage2Paris set off on their mammoth journey. I remember the excitement as the pilgrims arrived last Friday at St Martins in the Field in London. I was eager to meet each pilgrim and find out who these people were who were willing to give up their time over a fortnight to walk from London to the climate talks in Paris. They have come from all walks of life and from all corners of the country, each sharing a strong commitment to put their faith into action and tackle climate change.

Elizabeth Perry is from Wiltshire and I asked her why she had decided to join the Pilgrimage2Paris and she said ‘Sometimes you hear about something and just know it’s for you. I want to ‘pray with my feet’, and be a part of the wider journey that is happening around the world this year: people walking together for the love of our beautiful common home to show political leaders it is time for action.’

The commissioning service at St Martin in the Fields was a perfect mix of encouragement and motivation to stand in solidarity with those affected by climate change whilst acknowledging the challenge ahead.

As we were leaving the church the Bishop of Salisbury gave final words on the Portico, before we began our journey out of London.  I walked with them on the first day and it was amazing to see how many people came out to greet us and cheer us on. We stopped at local churches that welcomed us and gave us some respite from the rain; I felt a real sense of unity behind us as we walked.

Jess Hall, from Oxford walked 32 miles over the weekend with the pilgrims and said, ‘My own blisters and tired feet served as a reminder of the pain and endurance of many of those in poor communities living with the constant struggle of a changing climate. I hope this reflection stays with me and spurs me on to action as we seek a cleaner, brighter future for all.’

After hearing the shocking news of the attacks on Paris, we realised that the pilgrimage would take on a different tone.

The pilgrims will keep walking with their prayers and thoughts for those in Paris; they will keep walking on in solidarity & prayer for a hope of a world where light overcomes the darkness. As they journey together to Paris - supported by Christian Aid, Tearfund, CAFOD and the Church of England - the pilgrims will take each step, walking by faith in hope, collectively calling on world leaders to agree a fair, ambitious and binding climate change deal in Paris.

Their pilgrimage is also a call for all of us to maintain the momentum long after the talks have closed. We are joining a global movement of people with the same heart and vision for a world free from poverty and climate change as God intended.

If you would like to add your voice to this call please sign this petition and share widely with your networks:


The impressions, hopes and ideas expressed in this blog are the contributions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or policies of the World Council of Churches.

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