We are united by our faith; a faith that we can advocate and influence and be the change that we want for our world. We choose to walk to COP26 as a practice of that faith, an act of connection with the earth on which we walk and the people with whom we walk and the communities through which we pass; and we make our way in kinship with the peoples and creatures of the earth who are suffering and displaced by climate and ecological breakdown. We do so peacefully and lawfully, ready to engage and learn, because we care and we have hope.
This is a walk for everyone, although initiated by XRUK Faith Bridge. We will be walking from London and Bristol to Glasgow. Leaving London on Sunday 5th September, leaving Bristol on the 9th September and arriving in Glasgow on 30th October.
The purpose of the walk is to build alliances and engage communities along the route – faith communities and other local communities – and to spread the word about the urgency of the need for meaningful action to address the global climate and ecological emergency. This is an opportunity for connection and outreach and is expressly not a physically disruptive or civilly disobedient action. Those involved are asked to sign up to this principle.
The walk will take place over an eight week period in relatively short stages (averaging around 10 miles per walking day) to allow for as much participation and accessibility as possible and so that the focus is not simply on the physical act of walking, but also on interacting with the public where we can. Almost all stages are accessible by public transport so people can join for short relays.
The walk is for everyone in XR and beyond, not just the faith communities – we all have much to give, much to share, and much we can learn from each other. The hope is that local XR groups will take part, and that local groups as well as faith groups will help us locate resources such as community halls, churches halls etc that will host our walkers each evening by providing food, somewhere to sleep and other facilities. It is also hoped that local groups will identify opportunities for walkers to to give talks within the communities through which they pass.
What is a Camino?
Camino simply means ‘the way’. The Camino de Santiago is ‘The Way of St James’ and the most popular route is the Camino Frances (the French Way) which traditionally starts in St. Jean-Pied-De-Port in France, before crossing the Pyrenees, La Rioja wine region and northern Spain and finishing in Santiago de Compostela, the burial place of St. James.
People walk the Camino for many reasons: for a sense of shared purpose, the centuries of history tramped into the soil, or simply the rhythm and the joy of walking day after day. There are hundreds of different pilgrim routes across Europe and the UK stamped with the memories of hundreds of years.
So we are on the way to COP26. Please come and walk with us.
What is the XR Faith Bridge?
XR Faith Bridge is an interfaith alliance across a broad spectrum from established religions to those who are spiritual but not religious. The concept of a pilgrimage walking from the centre of UK government in Westminster to the gathering of nations in Glasgow is one that fits naturally within its declared intention of working together “united for our sacred Earth”. XR Faith Bridge has a COP26 working group and this is one of our initiatives. We will also be holding vigil in Glasgow for the duration of COP26, when the eyes of the world will be on its leaders.
What is COP 26 and what does COP stand for?
COP stands for Conference of the Parties, and will be attended by countries that signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – a treaty agreed in 1994. The 2021 meeting in Glasgow will be the 26th meeting, which is where the 26 comes in.
Why is COP26 so important?
US climate envoy John Kerry describes the climate summit as ”the last best chance” to avert the worst environmental consequences for the world. He is right.
Small island states such as the Maldives and Tuvalu will be submerged by rising seas if no action is taken on the climate, so they understandably want to see evidence that big emitters are delivering on their commitment under the 2016 Paris agreement to “pursue efforts” to limit warming to 1.5C above the pre-industrial average.
Extinction Rebellion believe that the government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025. It’s one of the three demands.
1. Tell the truth
Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.
2. Act Now
Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.
3. Go Beyond Politics
Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.