At a service at St Martin in the Fields to celebrate creation and bless the pilgrims before they leave London, the Bishop of Salisbury, the Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, the Church of England's lead bishop on the environment, said:
"We walk in solidarity for climate justice for the world's poorest and most vulnerable. We are all aware of the impact of climate change and we can not be the first generation to knowingly turn away from our responsibilities to protect the planet. These 50 pilgrims are highlighting the need for those involved in the climate change talks to reach an agreement that moves us towards a fairer, low-carbon future at Paris and beyond."
The pilgrims will arrive in the French capital on the 27th November, as negotiators from more than 190 nations gather for the start of the talks. The pilgrims will be joining with other faith groups to hand in campaign petitions to Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), as well as participating in the mass mobilisation through the centre of the city, ensuring the Church has a strong voice in and around the talks.
James Buchanan who is leading the Pilgrimage2Paris, said:
"After months of hard work we are now on our way. This morning's service is a reminder of what is at stake at the upcoming UN Climate Change conference, and we can't wait to add our voice. There is no planet B so please do join us on this journey to Paris for climate justice."
The pilgrimage has the backing of the Church of England and major aid agencies Christian Aid, CAFOD and Tearfund. Pilgrims will be staying in churches and in the houses of church members along the route, following in a centuries-old tradition.
Join us on the journey. For more information and to keep up to date with the pilgrims' progress, visit: www.pilgrimage2paris.org.uk, or follow @pilgrims2paris on Twitter and Instagram.