Humans of XR by Sarah Cresswell

United for our sacred earth

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.

Photos used are courtesy of XRUK Photo Archive from previous actions: please note not all of these lovely folks are taking part in the Camino or allied with XR Faith Bridge. Photographers: Sarah Cresswell, Joe Twigg

The Camino to COP is inspired both by the faith tradition of pilgrimage and great justice marches of the past: the Jarrow March in the UK, the Salt March in India and the March on Washington in the US.

Why we are walking

The effects of Climate change and ecological breakdown are not going to be felt evenly. There is uneven development status between richer and poorer nations, uneven distribution of climate impacts (including on future generations) and uneven capacity of different nations and people to respond to climate risks. The poorest people will continue to experience climate change through the loss of income and livelihood, hunger, adverse health effects, displacement and conflict. This is particularly true for those who are highly vulnerable to climate change, such as indigenous communities, people whose livelihoods depend on agriculture or coastal and marine ecosystems, and inhabitants of small island developing states. The effects of global climate change are already being experienced these communities. Those most affected by climate and environmental crisis, are generally the least responsible and yet they are the least listened to. We want their stories to be heard and we want to link them to the stories and emotions of the communities in the UK. 

Most people in the UK understand that climate change is a serious matter and something will need to be done about it but it is still not real enough to people to be a pressing issue that requires immediate and drastic action. We hope that by hearing the human stories and connecting them with their own narratives, people will be moved to understand in their hearts what is needed. Equity and fairness are vital for implementing a way forward that is liveable for every person and species. The failure of rich countries and corporations to adequately mitigate human caused climate breakdown is a matter of global justice.

We hope that we will leave the communities we pass through in a position to continue the conversation and to consider what they can do to amplify global voices and to advocate for effective assistance for the areas and the people most affected by this crisis.

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