Climate pilgrims arrived in England after ferry crossing

The 5th Ecumenical Pilgrimage for Climate Justice from Poland to Glasgow crossed the English Channel from IJmuiden in the Netherlands to Newcastle-upon-Tyne in England on October 11th. They were given a warm welcome on site.

Shortly after leaving the ferry, the climate pilgrims were greeted by the children of St. Cuthbert‘s primary school. They expressed their hopes and wishes for more climate protection through self-painted posters and the speaking choir: “Rise to the moment, act now!”. In the school gymnasium, the children sang songs for the preservation of creation with the pilgrims. In response to the song of the climate pilgrims, the Irish travel blessing “May the road”, the children spontaneously joined in with the English version familiar to them. “Meeting all the children who had prepared themselves for our arrival really touched my heart and reminded me again, that our generations are using much more than our fair share of the worlds resources,” Annika Spalde said, deacon in the Swedish Church. Singing with the children and looking into their faces, realizing that it is about their future, which we have to fight for now, were very moving moments for all of us, says Chris Böer, coordinator of the project.

Accompanied by some children, the pilgrims went to St. Cuthbert’s Church. At the reception service, they were welcomed to Great Britain by a greeting from Tynemouth MP, Sir Alan Campbell. He made it clear that climate change is one of the most important issues of our time and that the upcoming climate conference is the time for significant action: “This is an urgent matter which demands an urgent practical response but it is also a moral cause. "

Mary Glindom, MP for North Shields, met the pilgrims at the ferry terminal. She thanked them very much for the unbelievable commitment of the climate pilgrims for more climate justice and wished them every success on their trip to Glasgow.

After this motivating welcome, the pilgramage went on to the day's destination in Blyth. For the next few days, the pilgrimage for climate justice leads along the coast via Holy Island to the Scottish border in Barwick-upon-Tweed. It also visits strength and pain points in the northernmost and, in comparison, very poor region of Northumberland. On our journey, we will be visiting places that provide good and bad examples of climate protection. For instance, parishes, environmental initiatives, schools and non- profit associations will inform us of their situation, organise meetings or prepare themed events. On excursions and through concrete actions and ecumenic devotions, we will seek to begin a dialogue and we want to give fresh impetus for climate protection and climate justice.

Photo:  Chris Böer