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,” said Annika Spalde, 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,” said 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 pilgrimage 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. On their journey, the climate pilgrims will visit places that provide good examples of climate protection, including parishes, environmental initiatives, schools and nonprofits.
The 5th Ecumenical Pilgrimage for Climate Justice began 14 August from Zielona Góra, Poland and ends 29 October in Glasgow, Scotland, at the World Climate Conference. It is supported by Protestant regional churches, Catholic dioceses and church aid organizations in Germany. Church organizations in Poland, the Netherlands, England and Scotland also support this supra-regional European project. The 5th Ecumenical Pilgrimage for Climate Justice is coordinated by the office in the Institute for Church and Society of the Evangelical Church of Westphalia.
In Münster, the 5th Ecumenical Pilgrimage for Climate Justice was joined by the Pilgrim's Walk for Future, which started on 19 July in Vadstena, Sweden and also leads to Glasgow.
Everyone can support the concerns of the climate pilgrimage and join the pilgrimage—an hour, a day's stage (max. 25 km) or even longer.
For more information: www.klimapilgern.de