Why Are These Christians Hiking to Paris?

The cold winds of November aren't enough to stop Christians from marching to Paris for climate change awareness. Then again religious theorists would argue that a pilgrimage is intended to be just that, arduous for the sake of transformation. It is these exhaustions of mind and body that enable us to see what really matters. Much like those that hike through the hills of France for Our Lady of Lourdes, Christians are currently undergoing a strenuous walk to transform the way we think about climate change.

Jack Till is among the forty-four Methodists, Baptists and Catholics, ranging in age from 18 to 75, who are hoping to, "get the church to see that care of God’s creation, care of the Earth is central to our Christian life." As the 200-mile hike makes its way to the climate talks in Paris (COP21), scheduled to begin in two weeks despite recent attacks on the nation's capital, the group will collect other pilgrims along the way. 

Follow the pilgrimage to COP21 here.

To all the pilgrims:

As the late David Foster Wallis famously said, "I wish you way more than luck." And, as I always say, I wish you many blessings.

Christians set out on climate 'pilgrimage' from London to Paris

Emma Howard | The Guardian 

“Not getting lost in London will probably be the first hurdle,” laughed Jade Till, a teacher from Stroud, before adding that walking 19 miles on a cold November day will also be a challenge.

Sat in the crypt of St Martin’s-in-the-Fields on the edge of Trafalgar Square on Friday, Till was about to walk 200 miles to Paris on a two week “pilgrimage” to crunch UN climate change talks where world leaders aim to negotiate a new deal on limiting greenhouse gas emissions.

She is joined by 44 other Christians, among them Methodists, Baptists and Catholics, from 18-year-old students to 75-year-old retirees. Many more will join for smaller sections along the way as the group stop to give talks and stay with schools, churches and environmental groups.

“What we are trying to do is to get the church to see that the care of God’s creation, the care of the Earth is central to our Christian life and not a nice addition for some people who are keen on it. This is one of the key things about being a Christian today,” Bishop of Salisbury, Nick Holtam, the lead Bishop on the environment for the Church of England (CoE) told the Guardian.

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