Interfaith pilgrims join forces in march for climate justice

More than 60 people gathered on King's Staithe Square to mark the end of the COP26 pilgrimage in King's Lynn.

More than 60 people gathered on King's Staithe Square to mark the end of the COP26 pilgrimage in King's Lynn. - Credit: Chris Bishop

A group of interfaith pilgrims came together in King's Lynn to end their march across Norfolk highlighting the need for action on climate change.

People of all faiths joined forces to walk and cycle from Great Yarmouth to King's Lynn as part of a relay leading to the COP26 United Nations Change Conference, which is being held in Glasgow from November 1 to 12.

The Norfolk pilgrimage, organised by the Quakers and Church of England, began at the Britannia Pier in Great Yarmouth on Sunday, August 22 and came to an end in King's Lynn on Sunday, August 29.

Pictured: Jan Smith with Julia Irving on King's Staithe Square in King's Lynn.

Pictured: Jan Smith with Julia Irving on King's Staithe Square in King's Lynn. - Credit: Chris Bishop

More than 60 people gathered on King's Staithe Square to mark the end of the journey, with the Bishop of Lynn Jane Steen present to offer those gathered a short reflection.

Dr Steen said: "We remember that what unites us as Christians is a beautiful world, which is much greater than anything that can divide us."

Bishop of Lynn Jane Steen at the COP26 pilgrimage gathering in King's Lynn.

Bishop of Lynn Jane Steen at the COP26 pilgrimage gathering in King's Lynn. - Credit: Chris Bishop

She added that interdependent, intergenerational and intention were words that stood out to her when she thought about climate change and her faith.

Representatives of various faith groups also spoke to those gathered.

Hamed Al-Taher, secretary of West Norfolk Islamic Association, said: "It is our duty to maintain what we have got and to deliver it for our next generation."

Secretary of the West Norfolk Islamic Association Hamed al Taher at the COP26 pilgrimage gathering.

Hamed al Taher, secretary of the West Norfolk Islamic Association, at the COP26 pilgrimage gathering. - Credit: Chris Bishop

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And a plastic bottle, found in the sea at Great Yarmouth and filled with the Norfolk sea water, was handed over to the Diocese of Ely to carry it on the next part of the journey.

Peter Belton holding the bottle of water, which has been handed on for the next part of the journey.

Peter Belton holding the bottle of water, which has been handed on for the next part of the journey. - Credit: Chris Bishop

Peter Belton of Norwich Quakers said the water in the bottle symbolises the "pollution in our ocean and the risk of flooding from climate change".

He added the pilgrimage was also to urge those in COP26 to "do something dramatic" to create change.

More than 60 people gathered on King's Staithe Square to mark the end of the COP26 pilgrimage in King's Lynn.

More than 60 people gathered on King's Staithe Square to mark the end of the COP26 pilgrimage in King's Lynn. - Credit: Chris Bishop

Lesley Grahame, Norwich Green Party councillor, who travelled from Great Yarmouth on her bike, said: "We are part of a much wider movement going to Glasgow and it is going to take a huge amount of public pressure for the government to live up to their words."

Lesley Grahame, Norwich Green Party councillor, who travelled to King's Lynn from Great Yarmouth on her bike.

Lesley Grahame, Norwich Green Party councillor, who travelled to King's Lynn from Great Yarmouth on her bike. - Credit: Sarah Hussain

The multi-faith gathering collectively read out a vision which shared their act of "kinship" with people suffering and "creatures of the Earth displaced by climate and ecological breakdown".

It was followed by the tying of ribbons around the railings on King's Staithe Square.

Teresa Belton of the Norwich Quakers at the COP26 pilgrimage gathering in King's Lynn.

Teresa Belton of the Norwich Quakers at the COP26 pilgrimage gathering in King's Lynn. - Credit: Chris Bishop

More than 60 people gathered on King's Staithe Square to mark the end of the COP26 pilgrimage in King's Lynn.

More than 60 people gathered on King's Staithe Square to mark the end of the COP26 pilgrimage in King's Lynn. - Credit: Chris Bishop


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