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Multi-faith group walking 500 mile 'pilgrimage' to raise awareness of climate crisis

Walkers from a range of faith backgrounds are undertaking a 'pilgrimage' from London to Glasgow in a bid to raise awareness of climate change.

Some of the walkers departed from Parliament Square in London on Sunday. Others will join from Bristol a few days later on a 500-mile journey to the United Nations Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP26) in Glasgow.

The walk has been called "Camino To COP" in reference to pilgrimages made since medieval times. 

Organisers say it is inspired by the faith tradition of pilgrimage and 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. 

The walk is led by the Extinction Rebellion interfaith alliance, known as the XR Faith Bridge, with people from a variety of backgrounds, of different faiths and none, participating. 

Approximately 15 people are expected to walk the entire route over the course of eight weeks, arriving in Glasgow on the eve of COP26, 30th October 2021, while others will join for part of the journey.

"My ethnic roots are in the small Indian coastal state of Goa and I grew up in the Solomon Islands," said Melanie Nazareth, in a statement. The lawyer and mother of four from London who is the Strategic and Spiritual Lead for Camino to COP. "What is happening in these two places connects the ecological crisis and the climate crisis straight to my heart. The people most affected by ecological and climate breakdown are not being heard. I hope that we can amplify voices like these as we walk the Camino."

Glasgow Cathedral broadcasted A Nations' Climate Sunday Service on 5 September at the heart of the city where the UN climate talks will take place in November with contributions from Christians around the nations.

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