The 2013 Peace and Justice Pilgrimage is currently walking from Iona to London to highlight UK Government plans to spend £100bn on Trident while slashing vital public services
Beginning on Iona at Pentecost (Sunday May 19th) 2013, finishing at the Houses of Parliament in London on Saturday 20th July 2013, it is an act of witness and communal celebration drawing strength and inspiration from historic centres of prayer along the way.
The 2013 Pilgrimage for Peace and Economic Justice has its origins in an Inter-Faith Service for Justice and Peace held at Hexham Abbey, Northumberland in January 2012, organised by Northumbrians for Peace, and SCANA (Scottish Clergy Against Nuclear Arms)'s second annual Easter Week Act of Witness outside the gates of the Faslane naval base in March 2012.
A primary aim of the 2013 Pilgrimage is to focus national public attention on the Government’s proposal to spend up to £100 billion renewing the Trident nuclear missile system, while continuing to slash NHS, education and social welfare budgets, including vital financial support for some of our most vulnerable and disadvantaged people and communities across the UK.
The model for the organisation and staging of this year's Iona to London pilgrimage is the way the Olympic Torch was relayed throughout the UK ahead of the 2012 London Olympic Games.
In the context of the ongoing economic crisis, the Pilgrimage's journey from Iona to London will be like lighting a series of beacons in the centres of spiritual and political power it visits along the route.
From the birthplace of Christianity in Scotland on Iona to the Trident nuclear submarine base at Faslane, the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh and onwards via a succession of English cathedral cities to the UK's seat of government in London: a significant act of witness expressing our commitment to a non-nuclear, more equitable future for all.
As the Pilgrimage makes its way southwards, there will be numerous opportunities for local churches, Quaker Meetings and other groups to promote discussion in the news media about the case for the renewal of Trident, and related wider issues of social and economic justice.
Much more than this, the Pilgrimage provides an opportunity to reaffirm and celebrate our common humanity: to share with each other along the way food, companionship, encouragement, our stories and music, laughter in the midst of austerity - our vision of a fairer more generous future for all based on cooperation and mutual support rather than merely the survival of the fittest or richest.
To find out more, join the walk and sign the petition please CLICK HERE