Press release

Five Kingston ministers to walk 1.5 million steps for the world’s 3 billion people without soap and water

Five Kingston members of clergy will clock up 1.5 million steps between them in May to help some of the world’s poorest communities across the world protect themselves from Covid-19.

For Christian Aid Week (10-16 May) each year churches across Kingston come together to help transform the lives of the world’s most vulnerable people – but lockdown means that the usual community events such as house-to-house collections, market stalls and a flag day couldn’t happen this year.

Instead, ministers from different denominations including the Church of England, the Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church, will each pledge to complete 300,000 steps in May in return for sponsorship.

Kingston Christian Aid Group chair Ray Charlton said: “Last year the churches raised a staggering £15,000.

“A year on and the world looks quite different, but the need to help our global neighbours is as urgent as ever.

“Imagine the predicament of trying to cope with coronavirus without proper sanitation, failing water supplies, and poor health services? Three billion people - 40% of the world’s population - do not have access to soap and water in the home, making protecting your family’s health very difficult, especially in crowded conditions.

“We are calling the challenge ‘Walk for a Whole World’, because we want wholeness for people, the chance to thrive and not merely survive, wherever they are in the world. Let’s stand together with our neighbours, both near and far. We would love to reach £10,000.”

Those taking part are the rector of All Saints’ Church, Kingston, the Rev Jonathan Wilkes; minister of Kingston Methodist Church, the Rev Dr Karl Rutlidge; vicar of St John the Evangelist, Grove Road, Kingston, the Rev Mark Stafford, and ministers of the United Reformed Church in Kingston the Rev Lesley Charlton and the Rev Suk In Lee.
Christian Aid is currently responding to the crisis in 17 countries across the globe, working alongside the most vulnerable people of all faiths and none. In Myanmar local partners have distributed soap to more than 30,000 people and distributed 2,000 surgical masks.
Christian Aid’s church engagement officer for South London Peggy Amoako said: “In times of crisis the poorest, most vulnerable and marginalised are at the greatest risk. The health care systems in the countries we work in can barely cope with their everyday caseloads let alone a pandemic – Sierra Leone for example does not have a single ICU bed.
“Here in our country we are seeing fantastic examples of coronavirus bringing people together, of neighbours across London and the South East helping those who are vulnerable.
“Coronavirus impacts everyone, but love unites us all ‘Walk for a Whole World’ gives us a chance to help our global neighbour.
“Christian Aid Week might not be a community celebration in the usual sense, but this challenge shows us how community can still thrive in different ways.
“Please support Kingston’s ministers if you can so we can help more desperately vulnerable people protect themselves.”
To donate visit and to find out more about the challenge search for @walkforawholeworld on social media or visit the websites and Facebook pages of any of the participating churches. To find out other ideas about how to celebrate Christian Aid Week digitally visit

Photos attached of the rector of All Saints’ Church, Kingston, the Rev Jonathan Wilkes with his dog and fellow walker Pim