COP26 Initiatives

26th October 2021

COP26 Initiatives taking place across the country at our cathedrals.

Newcastle Cathedral has created an interactive River of Prayer to mark COP26 and is inviting people to reflect on how small positive actions can make a big difference.

Inspired by the words from Amos 5:24 ‘Let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!’, the Cathedral has teamed up with Christian Aid to host this interactive textile piece for prayer and contemplation.

It will “flow” from the Font until 18 November.

Earlier this month Newcastle Cathedral welcomed 30 pilgrims, all part of the Young Christian Climate Network, on Relay, walking the length of the country to Glasgow for COP26, accompanied by a specially constructed boat, pictured.

The boat acknowledges that post Covid “we are in the same storm but not in the same boat”, and represents their hope to  “#RiseToTheMoment and use this year to set sail towards a more just future” for all.

COP26 Initiatives Newcastle Cathedral

Newcastle Cathedral’s Canon Precentor, Clare McLaren said:

“Addressing climate change is one of the biggest challenges to our generation, in terms of the legacy we leave for the next. 

“The Christian Aid “River of Prayer” has given us a brilliant opportunity to work creatively across departments to offer spiritual and educational food for thought in the run-up to COP26.”

Pictured below with the River of Prayer is Christian Aid NE staff member, Helen Cunningham

COP26 Church of England Newcastle

Cathedral Isle of Man: Tree Planting

Trees and bushes will be planted on the Isle of Man and prayers said over them on the eve of COP26 to demonstrate the Cathedral’s commitment to being good stewards and caring for creation.

The planting day will take place in Peel Cemetery this Saturday (30 Oct) and has been organised by Cathedral St Germans, also known as Cathedral Isle of Man.

The Cathedral is also displaying artwork by local artist and former art teacher, Ian Coulson called In A Thousand Years which has recently been part of a Biosphere exhibition.

The artist, Ian, said the artwork, made from wood and paint, was a declaration of intention and explained: “It is undeniable that the COVID-19 virus and its constantly evolving variants are an active and entirely natural element of the biosphere, still our fear of it and the effect that it has had on us as individuals and our society in just more than a year is chastening.

“This situation illustrates a direct parallel to humanity’s effect on the rest of nature, in only 250 years since the birth of the industrial revolution mankind’s activities have led to mass extinctions and probably irreversible climate chaos.

“I want to make something that can represent ‘hope’ for nature and that will perhaps even outlive our Anthropocene era, growing on into a possible post-human future. 

“So I will plant a circle of yew trees nurtured from cuttings taken from yew trees that are each already over a thousand years old and urge them to grow for a thousand more.”

COP26 Initiatives Isle of Mann


Chester Cathedral: Process

Chester Cathedral marks the start of the climate conference COP26 with the unveiling of Process, an art installation to raise awareness of sustainability.

It is one of a number of community events to coincide with the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow on 31 October – 12 November 2021.

This installation has been created by Dr Jeremy Turner, Programme Leader for Fine Art at the  University of Chester. All the materials and objects used are part of larger sustainable or renewable logistical systems and materials’ management processes where constant use and re-use makes for efficient strategies of operation and low environmental impact.

These pallets, barrels, containers, bins and bags have all been temporarily lifted out of their ‘normal’ sustainable daily existence for the purposes of this work and will return to circulation in that process at some point in the future.

He explained:

“These things coalesce here in a particular way at a particular moment as part of our consideration of important global and environmental questions and will then disperse to continue what we might call, their day job.

“The work speaks of logistics and the industrial, but as consumers, it is worth remembering we are all implicated in such systems and thus, by default, are implicated in a collective responsibility for the environment.

COP26 Initiatives Chester Cathedral

Last Saturday Chester hosted the Chester Youth Climate Change Conference which gave a platform for under 25’s to engage with the issues and on Saturday 6 November, Chester Cathedral will host a COP26 Exhibition with over 20 exhibits featuring Energy, Transport, Waste, Climate action, Education and more, free talks  and panel discussions with local MPs about the big sustainability questions facing society in the coming decades.

The day will include a screening of All Creation Waits, the film of a dance theatre performance telling a contemporary story of St Francis and St Clare in the context of climate change.

In Lichfield prayers will be said in the Cathedral each day of COP26 and a dedicated prayer area will be set up, so that people can light candles and pray their own prayers for our world and for those meeting in Glasgow.

A Prayer for COP26 read by the Dean of Chichester, under the Museum of the Moon at Chichester Cathedral.