CHRISTIAN campaigners opposed to nuclear weapons are taking part in a walk from Barrow to Grange in a 'peaceful prayer pilgrimage'.

Members of the Christian Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament joined local activists in Barrow ahead of a four-day walk, gathering near Barrow's shipyard.

The group is claiming that with enough 'political will' scrapping plans to replace the Trident nuclear weapons system could increase the number of highly skilled jobs available in towns like Barrow.

The Mail: CND campaigners in Barrow CND campaigners in Barrow (Image: CND)

Ahead of the pilgrimage, Martin Tiller, of Christian CND said: "As we begin our four days of peaceful prayer pilgrimage we turn to the east.

"We look away from the ugly military-industrial complex towards the beautiful hills and shorelines of Cumbria. We choose hope and go forward into the world in peace."

Speaking on behalf of local CND groups, Philip Gilligan said: “We are delighted to welcome Christian CND’s Peace Prayer Pilgrims to Cumbria.

"Barrow needs to maintain employment opportunities, but with sufficient political will to engage fully with defence diversification, jobs would be available in other industrial production and a greater number of skilled jobs could be created in the engineering sector.  

"People’s livelihoods matter, but the billions of pounds being spent on the Trident programme could be spent much more efficiently and much more usefully in Barrow and elsewhere.

"These billions could be spent on projects such as building science parks, working on essential nuclear decommissioning, becoming a world leader in international inspection and verification and on investing in the shift to renewable energy.”

The walk will finish on Monday afternoon, when they will celebrate a thanksgiving service at St Charles Catholic Church.

The campaign group previously called for the Trident programme to be scrapped because Britain's nuclear submarines are 'dogged' with issues.

The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament said it was concerned by issues with the current Vanguard class of submarines.

It said the Trident programme, whose Dreadnought class submarines are being built, should not be renewed and the money instead invested in public services.

Responding to the call, Barrow and Furness MP Simon Fell: "This group of well-meaning activists are actually pedalling a very dangerous fallacy.

"The national endeavour that Barrow contributes to keeps us, and our allies safe and has done for generations."