Peace is Every Step: thousands join silent peace walk

Quakers and other faith groups took to the streets of London in a silent walk for peace on Sunday, 21 January.

People walking, Big Ben behind
Quakers and other faith groups took to the streets of London in a silent walk for peace on Sunday, 21 January, photo credit: Michael Preston for Quakers in Britain

Facilitated by Quakers in Britain and Plum Village UK, the event, open to all, called for peace amidst the rising challenges of hatred, anger, destruction, displacement, and suffering.

With more than 30 ongoing conflicts around the world, particularly in Palestine and Israel, the silent vigil aimed to transcend religious and cultural boundaries.

During the walk, faith communities shared their dedication to non-violence, reconciliation and peace, united in the common pursuit of harmonious co-existence.


War hurts our hearts

- Rabbi Alexandra


Muslims, Jews, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists and many others joined the walk from Trafalgar Square to Parliament Square and back, weaving a narrative of peace between the city's key political landmarks.

Without flags, placards, slogans or chants, a thousand diverse participants including children carried hand-made white flowers as a reminder that everyone has a role to play in cultivating a more peaceful world.

Opening prayers from faith representatives reinforced the diverse yet unified call for peace. Maureen Goodman (Brahma Kumaris), Rabbi Alexandra Wright (president, Liberal Judaism), Imam Asim Hafiz (Islamic Advisor and Imam, Ministry of Defence), Mandip Singh (Sikh, Khalsa Jatha), Ven Canda (Buddhist monastic) were among those in attendance.

Rowena Loverance (Quaker and chair of Churches Together in England) reminded the crowd that it was the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

She shared prayers chosen by Christians in Burkina Faso, a country struggling with military coups and terrorism.

“They have invited us to focus on the story of the Good Samaritan," she said. “It is a story about crossing boundaries that reminds us of the bonds that unite the whole human family."

“War hurts our hearts," said Rabbi Alexandra. “We pray for peace in the [Middle East] region, for the safe passage of humanitarian aid to all those who need it, for the wisdom and moral courage of world leaders, and for civility here in the UK, and across the west, among those who may find themselves on opposite sides of this conflict."

The walk, covered by ITV London News (1.42), BBC Radio London (1.13.00) and the Guardian, was open to everyone, of all faiths and none.

It aligned with the "Together for Humanity" campaign, transcending religious boundaries and inviting the public to join in advocating for peace and harmony.

Read prayers here