David Pott leads the Lifeline Expedition and here he describes how it all
Greenwich meridian line nations show a marked contrast between the wealth of
England, France and Spain and the poverty of nations like Mali and Burkina Faso.
The 3 empires of England, France and Spain covered more of the surface of the
globe than any other empires and their languages have been most influential.
"In the autumn of 1997, I was half awake, half asleep one
morning with a very clear picture in my mind of the serpent twisting around the
pole from the Bible story in Numbers 21:4-9. I had no reason to see this image -
I had not been thinking about the story. As the picture was very insistent I
asked the question, "Why am I seeing this?" Straight away the pole turned into
the Greenwich meridian line and the serpent into a path encircling the line,
with people from different nations walking along the path.
It took me
some weeks thinking about those few seconds of revelation to work out what it
was all about! Here are some of the things I became aware of...
1. The serpent on the pole is a universal symbol of
3. The Greenwich meridian is central in terms of our
conception of the world, in terms of geography, time travel, history etc.
4. I was also interested in the links with John's
gospel 3:14-16, where Christ's reconciling act of love for the world is likened
to the bronze serpent incident.
5. Later on I also
noted that the Israelites who were dying from snake bites, had recently escaped
from slavery in Egypt. The serpent on the pole may well have reminded them of
the snake-like whips of the slave masters and also of the power of Pharoah whose
headdress incorporated a serpent. Although they were no longer slaves, the
Israelites were still influenced by the legacy.
Responding to that
vision led me to devise a 260 mile footpath which linked existing footpaths
close to the Greenwich meridian (It goes between Cleethorpes and Peacehaven and
if I ever get time to complete the job it will be called The Meridian Way.)
Then it was a case of finding people from the different meridian nations
and planning and executing the Jubilee 200 Lifeline Walk along the path I'd
created. In summary, the origins of the Lifeline Expedition flow from this
vision of the meridian line representing the need for healing and reconciliation