The BIG IF Rally in Hyde Park, London June 8th 2013

An early start at 7.45am on the morning of June 8th saw 45 participants from churches in Wilmslow, Handforth and Macclesfield board a coach at Wilmslow Leisure Centre for our journey to London and Hyde Park. We were setting off to participate in the The BIG IF rally to be held in the park The visit had been well organised by Ann Taylor from Heald Green and Bernadette Bailey from Macclesfield. As we set off from Wilmslow the weather was fine and sunny but as we passed through the midlands we encountered varying amounts of cloud but fortunately these had dispersed by the time we reached London.

Our journey down was uneventful other than picking up four remaining passengers at the Keele Service Station and taking in a comfort break at the Norton Canes service station on the M6 toll road. As we drove through the Chiltern Hills as we approached London, we were privileged to see numerous Red Kites circling in the sky. They are a result of the species now being protected and being re-introduced to various areas of the country.

On our journey we had been given paper flowers on a stick which had been made by one of our number and which we were to plant in an area set aside for this purpose in the park and which was to form a floral display giving the message IF.  Play a Video of the display HERE

On the outskirts of London we began to meet slow moving traffic which delayed our arrival at Hyde Park, where we were dropped of on Park Lane. A group of us set off quickly to try and intercept the marchers which were making their way from Westminster Hall, where they had heard Archbishop Vincent Nichols deliver a homily calling for action at the forthcoming G8 summit to tackle the root causes of global hunger.

There were numerous stalls/displays around the park representing many of the organisations supporting this cause and which were representative of many faiths participating.

 

The crowds continued to build enjoying the warm sunshine and having picnics whilst awaiting the main events of the day. These were due to start at 2.00pm but which in the event delayed until 3.30pm, which meant that we were unable to stay until the end as it had been previously arranged for our coach to pick us up at 5.00pm. The official attendance of the day was said to be 45000

The program was introduced by Myleene Klass and Gethin Jones acting as comperes. The first speaker was Danny Boyle of Olympic Tableau fame who stated that "The Olympic spirit is that everyone is of equal value. That's the spirit of the Big IF... let's be Change Makers, not just Games Makers!" He was followed by David Harewood who urged everyone present to tweet or SMS David Cameron with our concerns for the G8 summit. These were followed by other speakers including Bill Gates and a recorded message from David Beckham.

The full days program can be seen HERE in more detail for those interested.

 

 

 

 

We had an uneventful journey home with everyone agreeing that it had been a worthwhile, enjoyable and rewarding day.

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