Andy James is walking the Camino to COP26

Andy James is walking from Liverpool to Glasgow starting from the pier head on the 27th September. He will join the Camino to COP26 at Cheadle. The Camino will set off from London on 5th September.

Andy James is walking from Liverpool to Glasgow starting from the pier head on the 27th September. He will join the Camino to COP26 at Cheadle. The Camino will set off from London on 5th September. On Saturday 21st August; Andy and Annette spoke at the Vigil for Peace in the Anglican Cathedral organised by Canon Ellen Loudon. The script from their talk can be read below.


Every day we hear news of record-breaking heatwaves, devastating floods, wildfires out of control… for years people in the global south have suffered the effects of what we now recognise as a climate catastrophe. This week (20/08/21) UNICEF reported that close to a billion children live in one of the 33 counties most at risk. If we have any chance to achieve an effective reduction in Carbon Emissions toward net zero we must all work together and act right now… it’s a global emergency - all of us as individuals and communities can bear witness and speak truth to power.

On 5 September 2021, 40 walkers from across the country will set off from London to Glasgow a 500-mile journey to the United Nations Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP26). The walk is titled “Camino to COP26 . It is inspired by the faith tradition of pilgrimage and the great justice marches of the past – such as the Jarrow March in the UK, the Salt March in India, and the March on Washington in the US.

Andrew: Then the LORD answered Habakkuk: “Write down this vision and clearly inscribe it on tablets, so that a herald may run with it”

Why walk 500 miles to Glasgow for November’s Cop 26? Is it because I like the idea of being God’s herald? : I get to be fleet of foot, use my ipad tablet, blow a big trumpet, and sing along with the Proclaimers.

The Camino to COP is a multi-faith initiative born out of Extinction Rebellion, which is just one manifestation of how Civil Society has been calling for swift and just action to address the Climate and Ecological Emergency. Non-violent direct action has targeted banks and commercial undertakings responsible for accelerating the ongoing climate catastrophe, which so far has impacted mainly those countries and communities that have shared least in the global orgy of consumerism

The Camino however is a pilgrimage for the planet, walking as an act of prayer immersed in the landscape and meditating on what it is to be human, made in the image of our creator. We will pass through areas of urban desolation where the generosity and diversity of humanity flowers, rather like willowherb on crumbling asphalt. We will pass through countryside of wondrous beauty and hillside grandeur and mourn for flora and fauna lost to the monetarisation of creation

I have lived my threescore years and ten and wake each day to find I am living in the future. Driverless cars, drones and video phones have sprung from the pages of my brother’s Eagle comic. Telegraph wires, smog, and smoke-filled rooms have gone, along

with the English summer disrupted by a shift in the Jet Stream. Extremes of weather are now the norm across the planet, and these will get worse in the 2030’s and 40’s even if immediate action is taken. The UN Secretary-General has described the recent Inter-governmental report on Climate Change (IPCC) as a Code Red for humanity.

We do all have personal responsibility for CO2 emissions but are caught in a system that places the notion of individual freedom above community interests, and hungers for us to consume more stuff and then yet more stuff again at a cost that places no value on environmental impact.

A common behaviour trait in the face of an overwhelming crisis is a proverbial shrug of the shoulders and a “hey, what can you do? - live for the present”, well I can’t. We can’t. We can’t keep calm and carry on. How dare we sing ‘Our God is Great’, ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’, while we trash creation, while lives are being devastated right now?

COP26 is the last chance for the global community to pull a handbrake turn.

· We don’t want fine words

· Agree binding terms for immediate and wholesale de-carbonisation of the global economy.

· Impose a carbon tax on coal, gas and oil

· Cease all state subsidies for fossil fuel development,

· Roll out a Marshall plan for green energy for commerce, public transport, and the home, and

· Freely share green technology across the planet so the Global South is no longer left behind

The Camino pilgrimage will listen to the hopes, fears and prayers of each community we encounter on the way, and carry these with us to Glasgow, where we shall stand as witnesses to what we have seen and heard, in prayerful vigil.

Annette and I will leave the Pier Head early on 27th September and walk 3 days to south Manchester to join the Camino. About 15 pilgrims will walk the whole route, accompanied by many others who will join along the way, Some, maybe some of you seated here, will accompany us for a day, or two. For more information see https://caminotocop.com.

Annette: We would like to share the vision statement of the pilgrims on Camino to COP26

“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, 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.”

Finally…I am inspired by the work of Steven Shakespeare; he sent this prayer for us to share…

Towards evening,
after hard words and dashed hopes,
you showed yourself to the weary and wondering.

Radiant Christ, Son of the Earth,
show yourself to us now.
Speak to our need,
connect our struggles,
give us persistence in our dreams of justice and peace.
Transform the matter of our lives
into the kindling of hope.

For you are the love, human and divine,
that never dies and never runs dry.
AMEN

Thank you.