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LONDON: Canterbury Bishops Walk to 'halve poverty by 2015'

LONDON: Canterbury Bishops Walk to 'halve poverty by 2015'
Church and other faith group leaders walk united in call on world leaders to 'keep the promise - halve poverty by 2015'

July 24, 2008

An unprecedented walk of bishops and other faith leaders through central London to demonstrate their commitment to help end extreme poverty across the globe is set to take place next Thursday (24th July).

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, will lead around 600 archbishops and bishops from across the worldwide Anglican Communion, their spouses, and leaders and representatives from other UK faith groups in the high-profile call on global leaders to keep their promises to deliver the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.

The walk of witness and solidarity through the capital will conclude with a rally at Lambeth Palace, where the assembled leaders will hear keynote addresses from speakers including the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The event is being organised in partnership with Micah Challenge UK, part of the international Micah Challenge movement dedicated to uniting Christians to work together for an end to world poverty.

Before the walk: Whitehall Place (c.1000-1030)

Participants will gather in Whitehall Place (SW1A 2HD). They include:

* Robed bishops
* Bishops' spouses in national dress
* Other faith leaders and representatives
* Representatives from organisations belonging to the Micah Challenge UK coalition
* Foreign ambassadors.

Media are encouraged to use this time to approach participants for interviews. A contact list of key spokespeople drawn from the participants will be available on the day from the designated media area, close to the Whitehall end of the road. Interviews will be available with some participants in French, Japanese, Arabic and other languages (Spanish, Portuguese, Korean, Hindi, Swahili, etc) by request.

Gathering in the designated media area shortly before the walk starts will offer strong images of the Archbishop of Canterbury and other 'front line' participants, preparing to begin the walk.

Copies of Bible Society's 'Poverty & Justice Bible' will be handed to leading participants shortly before the walk begins, by James Catford, Chief Executive of Bible Society.

At 1030, the Archbishop of Canterbury will begin the walk with a prayer.

During the walk (1030-1130)

Media are welcome to film/photograph the walk while it takes place, and request brief interviews conducted 'on the move' with participants (other than the 'front line' walkers, which will include the Archbishop of Canterbury). Please do not disrupt the flow of the walk or request bishops or others to slow/stop as this would have a knock-on effect on the rest of the walkers behind.

1040 Estimated arrival time at Parliament Square. We expect to be able to pause the walk briefly in order to maximise opportunities for photography of the 'front line' of the walk against the backdrop of the Houses of Parliament.

1050 Crossing Lambeth Bridge. Again, we hope to be able to pause the walk briefly in order for photography of the walk against the backdrop of the Thames and the Houses of Parliament.

1100 First walkers arrive at Lambeth Palace.

There is open access to a designated media area outside Lambeth Palace, which will be positioned to offer strong visuals of the walk as it approaches the Palace.

Please be aware that there is no parking facility for broadcast trucks close to the Palace.

The rally at Lambeth Palace

Due to limited space, footage and photography from the rally itself (1130-1150) is being arranged on a pooled basis. There is no other media access to the Palace at this stage. The rally will include addresses by the Anglican Communion's Observer to the UN, Hellen Wangusa, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, who will deliver the 'Lambeth Statement on Global Justice and Poverty' to a Government representative. Texts of the speeches will be available shortly following the event.

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