Sheffield Cathedral welcomes young Christian climate change campaigners walking to Glasgow

Sheffield civic and faith leaders joined young Christians who are on a relay walk from Cornwall to Glasgow to draw attention to the climate change emergency.

Sunday, 5th September 2021, 10:10 pm

The Young Christian Climate Network (YCCN) walk arrived in Sheffield from Chesterfield on Sunday (September 5). The group was greeted at St Mary’s Church on Bramall Lane by the Bishop of Sheffield, Rt Rev Dr Pete Wilcox, and a group of Sheffielders joined the last mile to Sheffield Cathedral.

After introductory speeches by Bishop Pete, as he is known, and Rachel Mander, one of the walk leaders, the young Christian group spoke to the gathered faith and civic leaders to discuss what Sheffield can do to help tackle climate change.

The relay started in Truro, Cornwall, where G7 nation leaders met earlier this year and discussed the issue, and will end in Glasgow, where the COP26 UN climate change conference takes place in November.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Bishop Pete joined the walkers from St Mary's Church on Bramall Lane to Sheffield Cathedral

Bishop Pete said: “More and more people at every stage of life are waking up to the climate emergency. Young people are offering real leadership to older generations on the need to act radically and the need to act now.

"They understand how significant COP26 is and are challenging us to seize this moment.”

Rachel, who moved to Sheffield two years ago for a job, said: “We’re looking ahead at what’s to come. Looking back to January 2020 (and the pandemic), what would we have done differently had we known? With climate change we know what’s to come and the suffering that’s coming about.

Two of the walk leaders, Tim Niblett and Rachel Mander, outside Sheffield Cathedral

“We’ve got the chance to do that long-term thinking and planning. We’re hosting this conference in Glasgow, how can we make this conference the most productive it can be?”

She said the danger is that wealthier nations are not responding to the emergency, endangering poorer people, and called for “an act of faith and an act of love”.

A YCCN boat called The Pilgrim on display in the cathedral signifies that we’re all facing the same storm but are on different boats, depending whether we’re in a developed or poorer nation. People wrote prayers on coloured paper which they made into little boats that were placed on it during a special evening service.

Worshippers also had the chance to watch a screening of the Climate Sunday Service from Glasgow Cathedral.

Walkers from the Young Christian Climate Network (YCCN) arriving at Sheffield Cathedral