July 2017 Pilgrimage

The Last Remaining Coal Plant in New England

A walk from Schiller Station, Portsmouth, NH, to Merrimack Station, Bow, NH — July, 9–15, 2017

Friends, we are called by God in these times of impending climate cataclysm to make a witness to the divine power to renew all things. We invite you to join us in pilgrimage to the last remaining coal-fired power plant in New England operating with no plans or date for closing.

Beginning Sunday, July 9, 2017 we will walk, pray, share fellowship, sing and worship through southern New Hampshire, exploring how we may be called in these times to follow the prophetic examples of our forebears: to act in the truth in witness to the power of God breaking us out of our ordinary lives to be instruments of justice and peace. The 6-day walk will be Quaker-led and open to all.

We confess that the reality of climate change is overwhelming and we do not know exactly how to respond to the devastating truth that the world as we know it is ending. Yet, we also know that a stable climate requires an immediate phase-out of fossil fuel use. Given this reality, we must immediately shut down all coal-fired power plants and rapidly shift away from our region’s dependence on natural gas and toward renewable energy.

Merrimack Station, Bow, New Hampshire
Merrimack Station, Bow, New Hampshire

We walk from Schiller Station, a biomass and coal plant in Portsmouth, NH, to Merrimack Station in Bow, NH, the only coal-fired power plant left in New England without a shut-down date.

We walk praying for clarity, determination and boldness to take the necessary next steps. We walk acknowledging that we do not yet possess the inner resources to live our lives fully into the reality that our understanding of the climate crisis calls us to. We walk creating a community of holy obedience, understanding that we need each other in these challenging times. We walk bringing public focus to the immorality of perpetuating the status quo, and to a genuine hope for a different future.

We walk to build together a beloved community, to see what faith in action looks like. Our hearts are on fire with divine love even though our hands are slow to repent and our feet are slow to change. This is a time for renewal and transformation.

If your heart is stirred to join us, sign up on our website, or call 774-313-0881. If you are called to lend a hand in planning, please indicate so on the form and we will be in touch.

We cannot wait to walk with you.

In Abiding Love,
New England Yearly Meeting (Quakers), Prophetic Climate Action Working Group

Peter Blood-Patterson (Mt. Toby)
Minga Claggett-Borne (Cambridge)
Louis Cox (Burlington)
Brian Drayton (Souhegan)
Alice Grendon (Mt. Toby)
John Humphries (Hartford)
Katherine Fisher (Beacon Hill)
Meg Klepack (West Falmouth)
Jay O’Hara (West Falmouth)
Wendy Schlotterbeck (Durham)
Ruah Swennerfeldt (Burlington)


Map of Route

General Logistics

What to expect for meals, housing, support vehicle, what to bring, etc.

On this pilgrimage we will...

Put the spirit at the center, and seek to discover/recover the inward knowledge that our joy and liberation arises from our following the voice/God.

Walk with humility, knowing that God’s intentions may not be clear to us, using this spacious opportunity for discernment and reflection to hear where we may be called next.

Live the life of the spirit, which is lived through love. We will treat one another and those we encounter with the respect and dignity each deserves: this is nonviolence in action and speech.

Protect the sacredness of shared silence, on portions of the walk and at other times. And honor the times when we choose to refrain from using technology.

Encourage each of us to express our own physical, emotional and spiritual needs, and be willing to attend to one another's needs with care.

Let our lives speak, rather than a plethora of signs and banners.

Listen to how the spirit may speak through all of us, and respect the leadership team’s decisions.

  • For pilgrims planning to join us just for 1 day, please plan to provide your own food and join us most evenings at 6:30 for the community potluck.
  • For pilgrims joining us for multiple days, breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be provided. Please bring personal snacks. Please indicate on the logistics form your dietary restrictions and we’ll do our best to accommodate all needs.
  • If you live along the pipeline route, please invite your friends, fellow activists, congregation, and anyone else to the community potluck each evening!

We are grateful to churches and other organizations for opening their doors to our pilgrims. We have made arrangements with churches and Friends Meetinghouses along our route to arrange for housing. Please note that living conditions during the pilgrimage will be sparse—we will be sleeping on the floor and showers will in most cases not be available. There may be opportunities to swim.

We will have at least one support vehicle accompanying our pilgrimage to give a lift to weary pilgrims, transport gear, provide us with lunch en route and shuttle people back where needed to their cars at the end of the day.

Please pack lightly to help manage the limited space we will have in the support vehicle for everyone’s belongings.

  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • A bag large enough to accommodate your gear
  • A small day pack to take things with you for the day
  • Rain coat and pants
  • Warm jacket
  • Hat
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping mat
  • Small Pillow
  • Pajamas
  • Change of clothes
  • Ear plugs
  • Journal
  • Bible or other devotional reading
  • Head lamp/flashlight
  • Personal snacks
  • Bowl, cup, and utensils
  • Swimming suit and towel
  • Sunscreen & repellent
  • Please do not bring signs or banners

Daily Schedule

While each day is going to be different, and humans walking long distances won’t be mechanically precise. We do envision the days taking shape something like the following:
  • 7:00am: Wake-Ups
  • 7:30-8:00am: Breakfast
  • 8:00-8:30am: Pack and clean
  • 8:30-9:00am: Songs and announcements
  • 9:00-9:30am: Morning worship
  • 9:30am – around 5:00pm: Walking (with lunch break)
  • 6:30pm – 8:00pm: Community potluck
  • 8:00pm – 9:30pm: Evening program / worship / affinity groups / singing

Route Description

Locations, miles/day, lodging, events (updated June 28, 2017).
  • Walk through Durham (public lunch at Community Church of Durham, 17 Main St)
  • Lodging: Lee Church Congregational (community potluck at 6:00pm), 17 Mast Rd, Lee
  • Distance: 9.5 miles
  • Walk to Raymond
  • Stop along the way at West Epping Friends Meetinghouse
  • Lodging: Raymond United Methodist Church, 51 Main St, Raymond
  • Distance: 12.5 miles
  • Walk to Manchester
  • Lodging: Brookside Congregational Church in Manchester (possible public meeting), 2013 Elm St, Manchester
  • Distance: 9.5 miles
  • Depart Hooksett at 8:00am
  • Walk to Merrimack Power Station in Bow (4 miles),
    97 River Rd, Bow
  • Worship and nonviolent witness at power station at 10:00am
  • Following the witness, some people will walk or drive on to Concord (7 miles)
  • Worship, meal, and brief early evening session open to public at St Paul’s Episcopal Church, around the corner from state house, from 5:30pm to 7:30pm
  • Overnight hospitality available in area homes Saturday night
  • Distance: 11 miles
  • Worship, lunch, wrap-up at Concord Friends Meeting, Canterbury

Total pilgrimage walking distance: 70 miles
Google Map URL: https://goo.gl/maps/PDk4ujevyin


  1. Susan Day June 12, 2017

    I have a bad ankle & can not walk long distances but I could follow in my car as a support vehicle – or perform some other role.
    Do you have a job for me?
    Wilderness Meeting, Shrewsbury, VT

    • Jonathan Vogel-Borne June 13, 2017

      Thank you for the offer. Someone from the planning group will get back to you about helping out.
      —Jonathan Vogel-Borne (web admin)

  2. Cynthia Knowles June 14, 2017

    At a time when so much seems out of our control and the political climate seems to promote division and anxiety, the process of walking seems such a healing thing to do. First, it is a journey inward and outward, visible to the world. At a human pace that encourages mindfulness in the company of pilgrims, it is a chance to do something. The best antidote to hopelessness is action. We can’t know what it will change, but may we use our faith to trust that if we act as we are called that it will make a difference.

    • Ben Warner June 18, 2017

      I’m grateful for your initiative here. Of course I’ll go the distance. I well remember the power that seemed to develop during our Pipeline Pilgrimage a few years ago. And I relish the intermix between what rises among us communally and what comes about for each of us individually. May we all find opportunities for transformation along our journey.


      Ben Warner

  3. Muriel Farrar June 27, 2017

    Friends at Gonic MM would like to be of help if you pass our way. Kindly let us know of your needs so we can see what can be arranged.

Leave a Reply