‘We believe there is another way, a better way, in which every human life is cherished, where no one is abandoned to face their struggles alone… seeking to build a civilisation of love and a culture of life,’ said Bishop John Wilson, representing Cardinal Vincent, in his address to the crowd of estimated 4,000 people that gathered at the March for Life in London on Saturday 5th May.
The march, which began from from De Vere Connaught Rooms and proceeded to Parliament Square, saw a multitude of pro-life groups represented, including the Good Counsel Network, Life Charity, London Irish United for Life, and Right to Life. Many turned up in support for this LifeFest holding placards, wearing T-shirts and waving banners that read, ‘Life from conception, no exception!’, ‘Pro-woman Pro-life’, and many similar slogans.
The day was marked with activities, events and speeches, with the keynote address given by Clare McCullough of the Good Counsel Network, followed by the march. It not only helped raise awareness of the issue of ‘abortion on demand’ facing current and future generations but also united individuals and organisations in their witness to the value of life at every stage from conception to natural death.
Bishop John reflected, ‘Pope Francis has spoken forcefully about the dangers of a ‘‘throwaway culture‘’ in which the victims are ‘‘the weakest and most fragile human beings – the unborn, the poorest, the sick, the seriously handicapped…in danger of being ‘thrown away’, expelled from a system that must be efficient at all costs’’… We believe there is… a better way… of protecting the most vulnerable in our society from the very first moment of their existence to the natural end of their life.’
Participating in the march was American singer and songwriter Joy Villa who gave her testimony on why choosing life is important to her. Joy had appeared at the 2018 Grammy Awards wearing a white dress painted with a fetus inside a rainbow bearing the slogan, Choose Life.
Concluding his address, Bishop John said, ‘May the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, inflame our hearts always to choose life’ in the words of Pope Francis, ‘’Let us say ‘Yes’ to life and not death’’’.
The diocesan Rosary Shrine at St Dominic’s in Haverstock Hill held a prayer vigil for life in support of the march on the preceding evening, beginning with Mass celebrated by Fr Christopher Jamison at 7.30pm followed by all night silent Adoration ending with Mass and morning prayer at 8am.