Race For Lasting Peace In Southern Kaduna Intensifies | ow.ly/RZSy309hqsj

Peace Walk 2016

Prescot Walking Group – Walking for Peace and Conflict Resolution in Schools

June 6, 2016 | Nick Taylor

Prescot Walking Group – Walking for Peace and Conflict Resolution in Schools

Money raised by over 50 sponsored walkers is to be donated to the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace to develop an education programme that will be delivered in Prescot and Whiston.

The Prescot Walking Group visit the Peace Centre before their Peace 2016 sponsored walk

The Prescot Walking Group visit the Peace Centre before their Peace 2016 sponsored walk

The Prescot Methodist Walking Group started the annual fundraising event 10 years ago. To celebrate the decade anniversary, the group agreed to support the foundation by raising funds for a peace project which will take place in Prescot and Whiston later in the year.

Before the walk, the group gathered at the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Peace Centre in Warrington, to meet the founders Colin and Wendy Parry. Colin told the group about the journey they had taken following the death of their son. He explained why he and Wendy had the inspiration to start the charity and to later build the Peace Centre and set up a foundation in memory of the boys.

Colin Parry OBE welcoming the Prescot Walking Group to the Peace Centre

Colin Parry OBE welcoming the Prescot Walking Group to the Peace Centre

The Revd. Stephen Kingsnorth, the local Methodist Minister, also chair of the local town centre management and the Warrington faith groups attended and talked to the group about how walking had been a major part of the reconciliation that followed the bombings over 23 years ago.  He explained that he, alongside other faith leaders, politicians and many members of the public had participated in walks both here and on the island of Ireland and elsewhere to raise awareness of why peace and reconciliation is so important.   He told the group that they were carrying on the tradition to walk the peace.  Stephen expressed the hope that the walkers would do three things: walk, talk, because that is how peace is made, and choose–by that he meant that they choose to respect each other and whilst walking and talking, listen to the similarities and also celebrate their differences. Stephen delivered the walkers prayer and then blessed two items that the walkers would take with them.
Traditionally, the walking group carry a baton around the walk and as they are undertaking a relay over a 48-hour period, each group hands the baton on. This year, in celebration of the subject of peace, a specially handcrafted dove has been made, A symbol of peace, that would be carried round and passed group to group. In addition, a pebble had been decorated with an expression of a hope for peace. The walk is to take in the designated area of outstanding beauty of Hillier Island, West Kirby, and it is planned to leave the stone on the island so others who visit may see this expression of peace.
The evening ended with tea and biscuits and a tour of the centre. The walk took place over the weekend of the 4th and 5th June 2016. The walking group set off in a relay across the entire Wirral Peninsula. It was good weather throughout and each of the walkers has raised funds which will be presented to the foundation at a late today.
The funds, from the Prescot Walking Group, will be used to support a special project in schools.  In autumn 2016, we plan to engage all primary schools in the Prescot and Whiston area to run a project that will enable the teachers in those schools to learn how to ‘hold difficult conversations.’   We will then ask them to teach children (Key Stage 2 | 7 to 11 year olds) how to deal with conflict and build peace.  We will do this by giving each child a book based on the story of Tim and Johnathan, along with a special Prescot Walking Group bookmark. Teachers will be trained and receive a teaching pack and we will write to all parents to show how the funds raised from the church has allowed this project to happen.  Each walker will receive a copy of the book.
Ten years of Prescot Walking group fundraising

Ten years of Prescot Walking group fundraising