On Wednesday 14th February, approximately 40 people took part in a walk from Mernda to Melbourne’s CBD, the length of the equivalent journey from Gaza City to Rafah refugee camp, in a show of prayerful solidarity as they called for a lasting ceasefire in Gaza.

Wednesday’s pilgrimage was the first of over 96 walks planned in 15 countries around the world as part of the global GazaCeasefirePilgrimage.com movement over Lent. The 34km journey, starting at 3.50am, stopped for prayer at a variety of churches along the way, as well as with Jewish and Muslim friends who are also calling for a lasting ceasefire. The walk culminated at St Paul’s Cathedral at 6pm, where the pilgrims were welcomed as part of the Ash Wednesday service.

Read Shawn Whelan and Tim Budge’s stories (pages extracted from the March 2024 Olive Branch newsletter)