Summary:
The Pilgrimage arrived in Durham last Thursday, and was welcomed by members of Peace Action Durham, and Durham Quakers, as well as passers by who joined in the warm reception.
They were greeted at Durham Cathedral by senior clergy and the Chair of Churches Together, and took part in Evensong, when special prayers for Peace and Justice were said. After a convivial  shared supper at Alington House, the pilgrims stayed overnight with local hosts.
The following morning  there was  an enthusiastic 'Sendoff' from the Marketplace.
 MP Roberta Blackman Woods was there to add her support and encouragement. The walkers  presented  her with a copy of the Petition they are taking to Westminster.
The Pilgrimage then walked out of Durham accompanied by some local supporters, and made their way  to their next stop - Sedgefield.

Background:
The  Pilgrimage was launched Sunday 19 May on the island of Iona and the Walkers embarked on their 750 mile journey South. 
Andrew Greaves, coordinator of the Pilgrimage said “The model for the Peace and Justice Pilgrimage is the way the Olympic Torch was relayed throughout the UK last summer. The journey from Iona to London is intended to be like lighting a series of beacons in the centres of spiritual and political power along the route: from the birthplace of Christianity in Scotland to the UK's seat of government in Westminster. "
"... An important aim of the Pilgrimage is to focus attention on the Government’s proposal to spend up to £100 billion renewing the Trident nuclear missile system, while slashing NHS, education and social welfare budgets, including vital support for some of our most vulnerable and disadvantaged people and communities across the UK."
"..and more than this... The Pilgrimage provides an opportunity to reaffirm our common humanity: to share a 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...."

Along the way pilgrims are taking part in ecumenical, inter-faith and secular  acts of witness, expressing their commitment to a nuclear-free, more equitable future for all.
 
At least 2 members of the Pigrimage are planning to walk every step of the way to London,while many people have signed up to walk shorter distances - from a few miles to almost all of the 750 miles!.

We're distributing white poppies again this year.

For more detail about white poppies, look at the Peace Pledge Union's excellent website www.whitepoppy.org.uk

If you need more poppies to give away, please contact Heather. If anyone gives money, we'll send it to the PPU for education for peace.

Meanwhile, we wrote the following letter to the Durham Times

As Remembrance Day approaches, members of Peace Action Durham will once again be distributing white poppies.

We want to stress that white poppies do not in any sense dishonour or show a lack of respect for red poppies. Far from it  -  rather they complement and extend the symbolic significance of the red ones, to include the  victims of all wars, all those who continue to suffer and die, soldiers and civilians alike. Most importantly, worn together,  they symbolise hope and a commitment to look for alternatives to violent conflict.

It may sound naive to talk about Peace on Earth,and yet it is surely worse that we should carry on indefinitely with our increasingly dangerous assumption that war is inevitable. We are in cynical, pessimistic times, but we owe it to all our children to avoid despair, to allow them to believe that another more peaceful world is possible, and to help them feel that they can play their small part in bringing this about. When we say “never again” we need to work for a future which is different from the past.


Support the DEC Appeal


If you are interested in the controversy surrounding the BBC's refusal to show the DEC Gaza Appeal then you may be interested in the following links:
The DEC Appeal - as broadcast by ITN

The DEC Website - donate now!

Tony Benn makes the appeal anyway

Rather feeble justification by a BBC spokeswoman

Also watch Gerald Kaufman's speech in the House of Commons


Contact all the group


We now have a single e-mail for distribution of e-mails to everyone on the group (anonymously). If you want to be part of the system, please contact Stuart through the contacts page.


useful information sites

CND’s Trident replacement Q&A click here
CND’s Trident replacement briefing click here