Cycling In Faith

Cycling In Faith

The We Have Faith Cycling Caravan for Climate Justice is in full swing through southern Africa ahead of COP21.

back to listing
Thursday 08 October 2015 at 18:38
Cycling In Faith

by Southern African Faith Communities' Environment Institute (SAFCEI),

The We Have Faith – Act Now for Climate Justice campaign and cycling caravan is in full swing now, having been on the road for more than a month already. The caravan has travelled from Mozambique, through South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia, covering close to 3000km’s already.

Tanzania, Malawi, Kenya and Uganda still lie ahead and are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the campaign.

We Have Faith – Act Now for Climate Justice has been met with a lot of enthusiasm, with municipalities supporting the call for climate justice and urging others to do the same.

“As we sign these petitions, which all of you must also ensure to sign, we are committing to action and to calling on all leaders at all levels to do all they can to change our world,” said the Mayor of the City of Bulawayo, Martin Moyo.

The President of Botswana, Ian Khama, even went to the extent of sponsoring a bicycle for one of the We Have Faith participants. Zambia’s solo cyclist,  Allen "Super1 Chipolopolo" Namukamba, for the campaign was so inspired he vowed to start an environmental revolution at home. So we are seeing people from different walks of life committing to the campaign in various ways.

The cyclists themselves having committed in one of the most significant ways by helping to drive the campaign by the strength of their pumping legs.

CQe6_skXAAAvqdMFriday Nyambe, 60, and Charles Nyombo, 14

Bicycles and cyclists, one of the core components of the campaign – what is their true significance? Rev Glynis Goyns reflected on this in her presentation at the climate conference on 4th September that was held as part of the We Have Faith campaign in Bronkhorstpruit, South Africa.

“The obvious answer is that bicycles cause no carbon emissions; they don’t contribute to climate change. So the moral of the story should be: Don’t drive; use pedal power instead. But there are many other aspects to the symbols and analogies inherent in bicycles to awaken our insight and understanding.

The clearest and most immediate analogy is that of wheels in rotation to keep the bicycle in motion. Creation also depends on diurnal, nocturnal and seasonal cycles to keep it moving forward into the future. Patterns and rhythms of life embedded in these cycles are both dynamic and transformational, yet repetitive and reliable.

When the balance and rhythm of earth’s cycles are disturbed, this impacts negatively on the dynamic of the whole of creation.

A bicycle will not move without a rider. Nor will the wheels turn if the cogs are disengaged or the chain is loose. It takes the synchronized cooperation of the cyclist’s different body parts. It is the interconnectedness of all the parts, both rider and bicycle, that sets and keeps it in motion. In the web of life, it is the inter-relationships that maintain the ongoing, sustainable dynamic of creation as it moves steadily into the future.

A bicycle without gears or brakes could become a roller-coaster ride of horror for any cyclist. In a sense, this is what our global economic system has become. The race might be for ever higher profits and GDP, but the ride is taking us faster and faster on a downward slope with no means of changing gear or putting on the brakes. What do our respective faiths teach in this regard? Most urge contentment with what we have, concern for others and the greater good, conservative lifestyles, moderation rather than excess.

CQtWr_6WIAAW3j3Route of the We Have Faith - Act Now for Climate Justice cycling caravan

So when do we, as people of faith, change gear and apply the brakes? What happens when we demand that the earth yields more and more, spinning faster and faster to satisfy our greed and exhilaration in the race?

What happens to the synchrony, the harmony, the steady rhythm that holds us in balance?"

As the cyclists continue on their way, we can also take part spiritually on this journey. We can all work at keeping the balance; take loving care of every part of the bicycle/vehicle that sustains us and keeps us moving forward; apply the brakes when needed; and remember that whilst we are not cycling alone, we need to steer ourselves in the right direction.

Originally appeared on SAFCEI;  To follow the We Have Faith – Act Now for Climate Justice campaign’s progress, visit the official website or follow it on Twitter (@ActNowForCJ). 

Stay updated on the pilgrimage - sign up below.

Thank you for subscribing. We'll keep you up to date.
  • The End Of The Beginning

    Monday 14 December 2015 at 14:01

    Rev. Fletcher Harper reflects on the Paris agreement and where the climate movement goes next.

    Read more
  • They Made It

    Thursday 03 December 2015 at 23:04

    After walking 1500km over 59 days, the People's Pilgrimage for Climate Justice made it to Paris.

    Read more
  • Taizé: A Pilgrimage Of Trust On Earth

    Thursday 19 November 2015 at 19:04

    The People's Pilgrimage made a stop at the Taizé community in France in the wake of the attacks in Paris.

    Read more
  • The Laughter Of Owls

    Wednesday 18 November 2015 at 15:31

    Nearly 50 pilgrims of different faiths and none set off on a 200-mile journey from London to Paris ahead of COP21.

    Read more
  • Sparkling In The Distance

    Friday 13 November 2015 at 21:57

    After over six months of eager anticipation and journeying through different parts of the world, the People's Pilgrimage has finally landed on French soil.

    Read more
  • Au Revoir, Italie

    Thursday 12 November 2015 at 20:28

    The People's Pilgrimage says goodbye to Italy and is warmly welcomed in Geneva at the Ecumenical Centre.

    Read more
  • Deeds, Not Words

    Tuesday 03 November 2015 at 20:54

    Yeb Saño shares what it has been like to walk through the "divine and spiritual" Great St Bernard Pass of the Alps.

    Read more
  • The Great Obstacle: Crossing The Alps

    Monday 02 November 2015 at 15:08

    The People's Pilgrimage for Climate Justice reaches their halfway point to Paris. Yeb Saño shares an update from the road.

    Read more
  • The Climate Miles

    Friday 30 October 2015 at 21:39

    A Dutch group is calling attention to the action needed to avert dangerous climate change and keep the planet safe for future generations.

    Read more
  • Walking For Climate: Day In, Day Out

    Friday 30 October 2015 at 08:00

    Tessa shares her experience being on the road with The People's Pilgrimage for Climate Justice in Italy.

    Read more
  • Help Them Reach Paris

    Friday 23 October 2015 at 21:07

    We’ve set up a crowd-funding campaign to help get The People's Pilgrimage to Paris safely.

    Read more
  • The Latest From The Road

    Friday 16 October 2015 at 11:56

    We've traversed two-lane roads, off-road paths, and numerous hill climbs which gave evidence to our singularity of purpose.

    Read more
  • The Spirit Moves

    Wednesday 14 October 2015 at 19:03

    Environmentalist and writer, Jonathon Porritt, shares what everyone can do to support The People's Pilgrimage.

    Read more
  • Cycling In Faith

    Thursday 08 October 2015 at 18:38

    The We Have Faith Cycling Caravan for Climate Justice is in full swing through southern Africa ahead of COP21.

    Read more
  • Pacific Climate Warriors Join People’s Pilgrimage

    Monday 05 October 2015 at 17:08

    The Pacific Climate Warriors of 350 Pacific joined the ‪People's Pilgrimage‬ from Foligno to Assisi, Italy.

    Read more
  • Embracing Our Pilgrimage

    Saturday 03 October 2015 at 17:34

    The People's Pilgrimage is welcomed in Corchiano, Italy on their journey to Paris.

    Read more
  • Civitavecchia: A Town Stricken By Cancer

    Friday 02 October 2015 at 12:00

    Day 2 of the People's Pilgrimage brings the pilgrims to an Italian community facing serious health problems due to a local coal power plant.

    Read more
  • Face To Face With Pope Francis

    Thursday 01 October 2015 at 15:57

    Yeb Saño and pilgrims of The People's Pilgrimage receives blessings from Pope Francis to start their 1500km journey to Paris ahead of COP21.

    Read more
  • Next Stop: Paris

    Wednesday 30 September 2015 at 15:25

    The People's Pilgrimage for Climate Action, led by Yeb Saño, departs Rome for a 1500km walk to Paris ahead of COP21.

    Read more
  • Cycling Together For Climate Justice

    Friday 11 September 2015 at 19:09

    The second interview with women of faith working on a pan-African cycling caravan through Southern Africa.

    Read more
  • What We Do Today Will Matter

    Friday 04 September 2015 at 18:12

    One of two interviews with women of faith working on a pan-African cycling caravan through Southern Africa.

    Read more
  • One Planet. One Human Family: A Pilgrimage Heading To Paris

    Wednesday 02 September 2015 at 17:49

    For the 10th anniversary of “Giornata per la Custodia del Creato,” FOCSIV launches the Italian itinerary for The People's Pilgrimage.

    Read more
  • The Faces Of Cyclone Hudhud

    Tuesday 01 September 2015 at 21:10

    The People's Pilgrimage travels to Visakhapatnam where Cyclone Hudhud caused extensive damage 10 months ago.

    Read more
  • A Pilgrim's Refuge

    Monday 31 August 2015 at 19:44

    The Govardhan EcoVillage provides the perfect resting place for The People's Pilgrimage through India.

    Read more
  • Immersing In Hope

    Wednesday 26 August 2015 at 20:10

    In Varanasi, the Holiest City in India, The People's Pilgrimage receives a warm welcome from Banaras Hindu University students.

    Read more
  • In the Footsteps of Gandhi

    Monday 24 August 2015 at 21:50

    Yeb Saño reflects on Gandhi's words after his journey through New Delhi for The People's Pilgrimage.

    Read more
  • A Family People’s Pilgrimage to Cape Cod

    Friday 21 August 2015 at 18:50

    The Odell/Baffa family took a pilgrimage to the tallest point on a fragile U.S. peninsula threatened by climate change.

    Read more
  • Walking With Heroes

    Wednesday 19 August 2015 at 18:29

    Yeb Saño shares a reflection from his Roman pilgrimage with multi-faith emerging climate leaders for The People's Pilgrimage.

    Read more
  • Next Stop: India

    Friday 14 August 2015 at 15:58

    Yeb Saño prepares for the next leg of his global journey visiting communities at risk and fighting climate change.

    Read more
  • Returning to the Spiritual Wellspring of my Childhood

    Thursday 30 July 2015 at 12:06

    A cycle through Barra, The Uists, Benbecula and South Harris for the People's Pilgrimage.

    Read more
  • One Earth, One Family

    Monday 29 June 2015 at 11:07

    Sean, Lotifa, Yonatan, Priya, and Ravneet share their experiences from taking part in Rome's multifaith climate march, One Earth, One Family.

    Read more
  • A Collective Odyssey

    Tuesday 16 June 2015 at 13:39

    Yeb Saño shares a beautiful reflection on the warm welcome received in Vanuatu for the People's Pilgrimage.

    Read more
  • Six-Month Global People's Pilgrimage Launched

    Friday 05 June 2015 at 17:01

    Six-Month Global People’s Pilgrimage Launched in Vanuatu to Demand a Strong UN Climate Change Agreement in December

    Read more
  • Crossing The Bridge

    Thursday 21 May 2015 at 16:07

    Yeb Saño shares his story from Tacloban City for the launch of the People's Pilgrimage.

    Read more
  • Walking By Faith

    Tuesday 19 May 2015 at 21:22

    Catholic Ecology reports on the launch of the People's Pilgrimage around the world

    Read more
  • Praying With Our Feet

    Thursday 14 May 2015 at 17:45

    OurVoices is launching The People's Pilgrimage with Yeb Saño, former Philippines Climate Change Commissioner and government delegate to UN climate talks.

    Read more
  • Bonn 2015: A Newcomer’s Perspective On The Climate Talks

    Thursday 23 April 2015 at 11:47

    Francis Newman shares his experience from the SB42 UNFCC climate talks in Bonn and shares hope for the future.

    Read more
  • My Earth Day Announcement

    Wednesday 22 April 2015 at 12:45

    Philippines climate envoy, Yeb Saño, announces his leave from diplomacy to fight climate change with OurVoices.

    Read more