Peace and Justice Pilgrims travelling from Iona to London pass through Saffron Walden and Newport

The Pilgrims at Newport.

The Pilgrims at Newport. - Credit: Archant

Pilgrims’ Progress reaches Walden

The group, from the small island in the Inner Hebrides off the western coast of Scotland, are calling themselves the Peace and Justice Pilgrims, and are travelling to London via the major centres of political and spiritual power.

Saffron Walden happened to be between Cambridge and St Albans, but they also had received a warm invitation to stay by members of various religious groups in the town.

Pilgrim Julia Donachie, 67, joined the march in her home city Glasgow.

She told the Reporter: “Saffron Walden was so wonderful. It was beautiful and the people were all so kind and generous.

“I stayed with a lovely Quaker couple called John and Jennifer. When they took me into their home, I looked a bedraggled little thing.

“They really looked after me and even washed my clothes. The next day I felt like a new person. I can’t thank them enough for their kindness.”

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The group is travelling to Downing Street, bringing the message that the £100billion the Government is proposing to spend on renewing Trident nuclear weapons would be far better spent meeting essential human needs.

The model for the Peace and Justice Pilgrimage was the UK Olympic Torch relay. The small core group of Pilgrims have covered 10-15 miles a day, with a rest-day once a week.

They have been joined by others along the way for a few hours, several days or a few weeks. Accommodation and hospitality has been provided by pilgrimage supporters along the way in church halls, Quaker meeting houses and private homes.

The pilgrims aim to reach London on Friday.