French visit has a mission for Diss church member

Judith Tooth at the climate conference

Judith Tooth at the climate conference - Credit: Archant

A campaigning mother of four has returned from Paris after travelling to the city to call for world leaders to tackle climate change and to present a petition to French president, Francois Hollande.

Judith Tooth, 49, a parishioner at the Catholic Church of St Henry Morse in Diss, was in the French capital as representatives of more than 190 countries gathered in the city to agree action for tackling climate change.

She had already taken part in Pilgrimage2Paris, walking more than 200 miles from London with a group from the Church of England, Christian Aid, Tearfund and CAFOD for the start of the talks.

The Redgrave resident then returned to the French capital with CAFOD for the end of the talks to call for an agreement to prevent the changing climate from pushing people deeper into poverty.

There she joined Catholic campaigners from different continents following a letter from Pope Francis which called for the protection of people and planet.

Representing Pilgrimage2Paris, she was invited to the Elysee Palace to present a global multi-faith petition to the French president with more than 1.8 million signatures, including 100 from her parish community in Diss, calling for climate justice.

The CAFOD campaigners also visited the conference centre where negotiations were taking place and sent a message to UK energy secretary Amber Rudd to say they were waiting for a deal.

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The Diss parishioner then took part in a demonstration with thousands of people near the Eiffel Tower as negotiations reached their tense final hours.

She said: 'I think the president was moved by the efforts that we as pilgrims had gone to.

'Joining thousands of others campaigning for climate justice at the Eiffel Tower was a further powerful demonstration of our commitment.

'It marks the start of a new chapter in the campaign and we are ready with renewed hope.'

The mother of four added her pilgrimage had been 'a remarkable and transformative month' for her and added it was 'a month of meeting the most amazing people, all committed to campaigning for climate justice, of sharing that message on foot across two countries'.

Have you got a story for the Mercury? Email anthony.carroll@archant.co.uk