Pilgrims walk almost 2,000 km to Scotland for COP26
Over the past 100 days, a group of 30 people have been making their way to Glasgow on foot as part of a pilgrimage to COP26. Yesterday, after walking more that 1,800 km, the group finally arrived on Scottish soil. With some having come from as far as Sweden, Poland and Germany, the Scotland sign was a welcome sight.
SCIAF staff have been in contact with the pilgrims throughout their journey, and were on hand yesterday to welcome them with cake and friendly faces. We were also able to organise accommodation and food for the pilgrims as they continue their journey to Glasgow, with the kind support of local community members.
Nikki Neesam, one of our Community Engagement Officers, expressed her thanks to those who have helped out:
We wanted to make sure we gave the pilgrims a Scottish welcome and help spread their message here. With the help of our supporters and local parishes across Scotland, we’ve been able to support the pilgrims with their stay on the way to Glasgow.
The pilgrims are part of The Ecumenical Pilgrimage for Climate Justice, which brings together people of Christian faiths with a common goal of holding those in power to account, and inspiring them to take action at COP26. The group will keep walking through Scotland over the coming days and hope to arrive in Glasgow on the 29th of October – just in time for the conference.
Gustav Fredriksson made a huge sacrifice when he quit his job and left Sweden in July to join the pilgrimage. He told us a bit about his journey, and the time he’s had to reflect.
“I’ve been thinking more about what I can practically do and when you walk, you have more time to think. I thought, how could I have been so ignorant. I’ve become a vegetarian while on this journey and I’ve thought more about flying less within Europe, consuming less generally and living a simple lifestyle. We all need to think about changing our lifestyles.
“It’s great to be in Scotland, the people are nice and friendly here, and there is so much beauty. The first day in Scotland was the best day so far of our journey.”
Wolfgang Löbnitz, one of the pilgrimage organisers, travelled all the way from Germany. He emphasised just how important this conference is for the future.
I am married, with children, grandchildren and a great grandson back home. I’m walking for my kids. The future generation must be saved.