Quakers and Buddhists walk in peace

‘I experienced clearly a sense of what determination and love there is in the peace movement.'

Quakers and Buddhists are coming together to organise a second multi-faith silent walk for peace.

Coordinated by Britain Yearly Meeting (BYM) and Plum Village Buddhists, walkers for the June London event are invited to ‘make and bring a white flower’ or wear mourning clothes. Attenders are asked not to bring banners, signs, placards or flags.

The walk on 23 June from Parliament Square follows an earlier one in January where, at the top of the steps of the National Portrait Gallery, faith representatives stood together to share prayers for peace. These included Christian, Sikh, Muslim, Jewish, Zoroastrian, Buddhist, Hindu, Bahá’í, Jain and Druid people.

The speakers were led by Judith Baker, BYM’s conciliation and peacebuilding coordinator and ecumenical and interfaith officer, and Rehena Harilall, from Plum Village, who were instrumental in organising the walk. A meditation bell from Vari McClusky, also from Plum Village, rang out between each prayer.

The Plum Village tradition follows the teaching of the Buddha as offered by Thich Nhat Hanh, poet and peace activist, and friend of the late Martin Luther King Jnr. Writing on the Quakers in Britain website, Joe Holtaway, from Westminster Meeting, described the January walk: ‘I experienced clearly a sense of what determination and love there is in the peace movement. The stewards, the police liaison, the organiser crew, the guests and the participants together in this moment of solidarity.’

‘Our silence reclaimed [Whitehall] in a quiet way, and… allowed many to also express themselves without words.’

Joe Holtaway said he has found his spiritual home in both Quakerism and Plum Village.

You need to login to read subscriber-only content and/or comment on articles.