Walkers set off from Winchester as part of next leg of Young Christian Climate Network relay

July 22, 2021

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A relay pilgrimage of over 1,000 miles, organised by the Young Christian Climate Network (YCCN) will pass through the Winchester Diocese from the 24th – 28th July. The network is inviting people of all ages and faiths to walk a section of their choosing to help raise awareness and to encourage engagement in tackling climate change. 

The ‘Rise to the Moment’ relay, which started at the G7 meeting in Cornwall, will end at the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, taking place in November. Over 84 days, the relay will follow a route from Truro Cathedral, via Bristol, Reading, and London, Birmingham, Manchester, York, Newcastle, and Edinburgh, to Clydeside. World leaders are meeting in both places and young Christians are hoping nations will take tangible steps to see systematic change on a global and a local scale. 

Young activists will each complete a stage, and the journey has been divided into ten “regions” between large cities, each subdivided into a day’s walk of about ten miles. Other parts of Britain are also being asked to set up their own “tributaries” leading across their region to a city on the main relay. Instead of a physical baton, each relay group will carry the same message of crucial action needed to reverse climate change. 

A boat, named The Pilgrim, is being used as a symbol of the relay and will accompany the whole route. It represents the YCCN’s hope that everyone can rise to the moment and use this year to set sail towards a more just future. The Pilgrim boat will be positioned in the Inner Close on the Cloister Lawn at Winchester Cathedral from Friday 23rd July. 

Relay walkers and the boat will pass through the Winchester Diocese from 24th – 28th July, before heading off on the next leg to Reading. A service of prayer, blessing and awareness raising will take place outside the West Doors of Winchester Cathedral at 9.30am on Sunday 25th July, led by the Revd Canon Roland Riem. 

The Revd Canon Roland Riem, Vice-Dean and Canon Chancellor said, “This year is crucial in the struggle for climate justice and it is our responsibility to ensure that future generations do not suffer the consequences. The climate crisis is the most significant challenge facing our world, and together we can work to raise our voices to call for ambitious change nationally and internationally, as well as seeking it within our own communities. We look forward to welcoming the walkers from the YCCN to Winchester and I commend the young Christians who have organised and taken part in this relay to raise awareness about climate change” .

You can find out more about the YCCN here and you can keep up to date with the progress of the relay on social media by following #RisetotheMoment