Over a hundred Christians from Birmingham and beyond sent a clear message to Saturday shoppers that there is enough food for everyone IF, when they took part in a Walk of Witness through Birmingham City Centre on 2nd March.
The walk, organised by CAFOD in partnership with Christian Aid, began with Mass and a blessing from Archbishop Bernard Longley. Archbishop Longley viewed the walk as an important act of pilgrimmage that would highlight to all the plight of the world’s 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 was also supported by Rt Revd David Urqhart, Bishop of Birmingham and Major Samuel Edgar, Divisional Commander in the Salvation Army.
Holding banners and placards with the message ‘Enough Food For Everyone IF’, the campaigners walked from St Chad’s Cathedral to Victoria Square and down the High Street to St Martin in the Bullring for workshops and worship.
On the way, we sang variations on popular hymns, adapted by CAFOD Key Volunteer Trevor Stockton to reflect the IF Campaign’s four key asks on aid, transparency, land and tax:
“When all the land is used for food, when land is used for food not cars, I want to be in that number, when land is used for food not cars!
“When all big companies pay their tax, when all big companies pay their tax, I want to be in that number, when all big companies pay their tax!”
CAFOD’s Julia Hood, who took part in the walk, said:
“It was great to join with so many others and take part in the Walk of Witness through the centre of Birmingham. Hopefully we’ve inspired others to get involved and find out more about the IF Campaign.”
The huge diversity of support for the campaign 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. She said:
“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.”
At St Martin’s in the Bullring, campaigners had the chance to take part in workshops on lobbying your MP and reflecting issues of justice in weekly religious worship.
The Enough Food For Everyone IF campaign is calling for:
- Governments and investors to be forced to become more honest and open about the deals they make in the poorest countries that stop people getting enough food.
- Governments to keep their promises on aid, invest to stop children dying from malnutrition and help the poorest people feed themselves through investment in small farmers.
- Land to be used to grow food for people, not biofuels for cars, and an end to small farmers being forced off their land.
- Governments to stop big companies dodging tax in poor countries, so that millions of people can free themselves from hunger.
Find out more and take action now at www.cafod.org.uk/IF.
There is enough food for everyone IF…