“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
But now we do know. We know that we are destroying God’s good earth. Scientists have only erred on the side of caution. It’s happening faster than they thought. Recall the news in early February: 74,000 square miles of Thwaites Glacier in Antarctica melting faster than anticipated, with the threat of catastrophic sea-levels carrying away people and animals, birds and insects. Fires in Australia killed an estimated billion animals. How many more species are now extinct?
North Norfolk Extinction Rebellion invite you to join all people of goodwill, for a Pilgrimage of the Animals in Norwich on Easter Saturday. It is the idea of Hugh Lupton, well-known Norfolk story-teller whose novel, The Assembly of the Severed Head, was acclaimed by Rowan Williams.
The Pilgrimage of the Animals will be an act of mourning for species endangered by climate change, some of which have already been lost. Pilgrims, dressed in black, gather at Norwich Cathedral at 12 noon. We set off in silence at 1.00 for The Forum, carrying cardboard shields of our own making, depicting endangered species. Workshops have been organised around Norfolk for people who would like help with this.
On the way, we stop to hear litanies of the names of the species, followed by the Cacophony of the Animals. With things to blow or things to bang or just our human voices, the sound of mourning erupts; then there’s silence as we continue on our way. St Peter Mancroft toll the bell, one for each species.
At 1.50, we reach The Forum. The shields are tied to poles, then raised ceremonially.
The Dean and Bishop Graham have given their blessing to the Pilgrimage. All are welcome to walk, watch, and carry shields. Clergy are invited to process in cassocks.
To be a pilgrim, go to the website and choose an animal then get busy making your shield. Workshops are available for help, if you’d like some: www.pilgrimageoftheanimals.com Shields are less critical for those following only.