Webteam: August 2021
Young Christians' Relay to COP26
The 'Young Christians Climate Pilgrimage' to Glasgow, is currently walking it's way towards the North East from Cornwall and will reach our area on September 27th.
The young people say:
"In years to come, we want the UK church to look back on 2021 and say 'we did not sit at home while unjust decisions were made on our doorstep; we set sail towards a just future'.
How can we support them? By publicising the event in your churches, sign up to walk part of the way, offer prayers and hospitality, or come along to a local event.
You can find a link to the route map here:
One of the young walkers, Rachel Mander, explains the background to the initiative, the group's aims and how they are getting on a couple of weeks into their journey...
Just after the G7 in Cornwall, we set out to walk all the way to another set of talks — the international climate negotiations, COP26, being held in Glasgow in November. We're walking as an act of faith, hope and love. We have lots of days which we still don't have any offers of accommodation for, and where the route isn't finalised.
Already though, we have seen provision. A beautiful send-out service from Truro Cathedral, offers to meet a mayor, accommodation with views of a sunset over the harbour, rope swings over rivers, and a WhatsApp group with people praying for the journey.
We're walking because at the moment, many countries are being pushed further into debt because of the impacts of climate change. The existing international commitments to provide financial support to the countries most vulnerable to climate change, are being broken by our own government.
We want to pressure the UK government to prepare for COP26. As a global financial player, we should be reversing the recent cuts to aid, delivering on existing climate finance, and ensuring that no country gets pushed into debt because of climate change (the technical part of the UN negotiations for this is ensuring provision for a loss and damage financial mechanism).
A boat is accompanying us on our journey, with sails made from material from around the world. It's part of our acknowledgement that "We are in the same storm, but not the same boat"
We have over 100 days of walking ahead of us, and events in 10 major cities across the UK. We would love you to join us: walk with us, host us in church halls, hold Climate Sunday services as we pass through, campaign with us to ask the UK government to act to ensure no country gets pushed into debt because of climate change.
This piece first appeared in the Methodist Blog.
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