BIRMINGHAM ARCHBISHOP’S BLESSING STARTS WALK OF WITNESS AGAINST HUNGER

Members of Birmingham University Anglican Society lead the walk past Moor Street Station

Over a hundred Christians from Birmingham and beyond took part in a walk of witness against hunger on Saturday 2nd March 2013. Participants had already heard support by Archbishop Bernard Longley who then blessed the walkers before they set off. Holding banners and placards stating ‘enough food for all’, they walked from St Chad’s Cathedral to Victoria Square and down the High Street to St Martin in the Bullring for workshops and worship. The walk happened as part of a range of activities in support of the Enough Food If coalition which launched in Birmingham earlier this year.

Archbishop Longley integrated a reflection on the walk in the mornings Mass – referring to it in his address and blessing the walkers at the close of the service. He viewed the walk as an important act of pilgrimage that would highlight to all the plight of the poorest. He said:

“May your witness remind us of the causes of hunger and remind us of the one billion people trapped in poverty”

The walk had already received endorsement from Rt Revd David Urqhart, Bishop of Birmingham and Major Samuel Edgar, Divisional Commander in the Salvation Army. The diversity of support was matched by a wide range of church groups making up the walkers. Eleanor Coss, a Quaker from Small Heath walked with 2 year old Rebecca and saw the event as a chance to make people stop and think as they went about their Saturday shopping:

It was a fun and challenging morning. It was inspiring to walk with such a determined group among many shoppers who were either oblivious to or voiced opposition to our witness. It reinforced to me how important it is to share the message that there is Enough Food If. we must take action with everyone, not just those already aware of the campaign. We can make a difference if we really work together.

The walk had been planned and facilitated by regional staff of Enough Food If coalition members Christian Aid and CAFOD. Workshops at St Martin in the Bullring covered how to lobby your MP and how to reflect issues of justice in weekly religious worship. The coalition, whose slogan ‘enough food if’ was carried through the streets represents over 100 charities (of all faiths and none) who have united to make 4 clear demands of the G8 meeting in Northern Ireland, June 2013.