CCA members are amongst a group of pilgrims walking the 500 miles from London to Glasgow in time for the COP26 Summit. On the way, they are seeking to engage people with the reality and urgency of the Climate Emergency. Melanie Nazareth, who worked tirelessly to help organise the pilgrimage reflects on their journey.
We’ve made it to Scotland! Ten days till we arrive in Glasgow. What a journey we’ve had so far. We’ve stayed in churches and their halls, community centres and even office spaces as we’ve walked our way up the country. Talking to communities about activism, asking them to step into their power, asking communities of faith to take the next step into political engagement. We’ve been talking also about climate justice and how loving our neighbour means immediate radical reduction of our greenhouse gas emissions as well as financial assistance. It’s been a journey of personal transformation as well, being rooted in the sacred gift of Creation, watching the season change and living in God’s time rather than human time.
One of the important things we’ve learnt has been about community. We will need resilient, compassionate and sustainable communities in the face of the impacts of climate and ecological harm that is already built in through our decades of inaction and we’ve been inspired and made hopeful by some communities we’ve visited. But for us the ongoing process of learning to live this way ourselves and model it for those that we encounter has been profound. We are trying to be truth-tellers not just in our words but also in our actions.
Walking miles each day knowing there are still miles to go, dealing with those days when it has rained incessantly and gear is still wet the following morning, keeping going with (minor) injuries, these are some of the physical challenges of the journey. Then there is the homesickness for our own beds and our own bathrooms after weeks of using public facilities, but these things mean that we are met with generous welcome by people who are willing to hear our stories and open their own hearts to act on the messages that we carry. And there is always the joy of everywhere meeting CCA folks, supporting us and spreading the word. Thank you to everyone of you.