‘Journey to COP26’

Quakers share favourite walks and online invents in lead up to Glasgow conference

Quakers shared their favourite walks this month as part of the ‘Journey to COP26’ initiative on 10 and 11 April, which inspired people to make short journeys to sacred places. COP26 is the twenty-sixth UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties, which will take place in Glasgow.

St Andrews Quakers joined the action, meeting at the Labyrinth in the local park, which the Meeting gave to the town to mark its fiftieth anniversary a few years ago. ‘It was a glorious sunny day with cherry blossom and surrounding trees showing their green shoots reminding us of the gift of the Earth and our need to treasure it,’ Joyce Taylor told the Friend. ‘At the centre of the labyrinth are two benches made by a local craft person which are carved with the words of George Fox “be cool and still in thine own mind” with his name and dates.’

Jane Mitchell and Ed Tyler from Argyll Meeting also took part: ‘We live on either side of Loch Fyne, one of the longest sea lochs in Scotland, in the Firth of Clyde, so when “the journey” was announced, we thought it a great idea to meet up. This involved Ed catching the first ferry over from Tarbert to Portavadie, where [we] walked through a fragment of Atlantic Rainforest now owned by the local community. The rainforest means so much to us: some of its plant species are found nowhere else in the world.’

Friend Alison McCain shared her Cornish journey on social media. ‘Why am I walking today?’ she tweeted. ‘How many people won’t have a place to call home and food to eat as the temperature rises?’

Other Friends journeyed in their minds, with the Quaker Loving Earth Project running two online events, one via Woodbrooke and another led by Linda Murgatroyd, convenor of the Quaker Arts Network. ‘Physically, we were in places as far apart as Donegal and Slovenia, and from many parts of Britain,’ Linda Murgatroyd told the Friend. ‘We travelled in our imaginations to the future of places we loved, ranging from a fast-disappearing Swiss glacier to a city plagued by air pollution to a coastline pounded by increasingly extreme storms and polluted seas, to beautiful parts of Donegal and Tyrone threatened by gold mining. Jasmine Piercy led us in a guided meditation to which we responded in silence, playing with images, words and colours, exploring how we could respond.’

The Loving Earth Project’s travelling exhibition is planned to be on display at the COP26 gathering in Glasgow.

The ‘Journey to COP26’ initiative was started by Faiths4Change.

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