Camino to COP26


by Jim Pentney

Camino to camino

October 2021

Cop 26:

cop a hold

Cop to stop

A personal pilgrimage

from stroud to Glasgow

Via Carlisle, oban, mull and ardnamurchan

What do we mean by pilgrimage?

Vigil means waiting;

Maybe pilgrimage is a mobile vigil?

Organ music resounded from inside Glasgow Cathedral before the heavy door creaked open . . .

Read on by clicking on the CAIRN TO CAIRN COP link in the middle of the following page:

COP 26 2


Vigil 9 p.m., Thu 11 Nov, Bristol

The organisers of the Bristol to Glasgow ‘Western Camino to COP26‘ (which passed through various places in Gloucestershire in September) have drawn to our attention that their final action will be the Bristol Earth Vigil at College Green, starting at 9pm this Thursday 11th of November.  Perhaps only a few might consider actually joining them in person, but those with a spiritual inclination might like to consider “holding them in the light” as Quakers put it, perhaps with a particular focus on 11pm, given the date.  We are sure they would be glad to receive messages of encouragement, at

Diary of the Camino

The Western Camino passed through Gloucestershire from 9th to 15th September. Here is the diary of that part of the pilgrimage.

Tewkesbury welcomed the group of walkers who were heading for Upton, then Malvern and some locals walked a little of the way with them to hear their stories and be inspired.


Western Camino – Day 7 to 8

👣 After a blessing from Tewkesbury Abbey yesterday, walkers were accompanied out of town by well wishing locals including local Green Party councillor Cate Cody. A good walk along the Severn to Upton where the group were met by local supporters. After a lovely walk through countryside with the Malvern hills in sight,  finished with a welcome from a mini samba band and a large group of well-wishers in Barnard’s Green. Celebrations continued in Lansdowne Crescent Methodist Church with Extinction Rebellion Malvern Page. The evening rounded up with a visit from the ‘Rainbow Guardians’ and gorgeous music from Jonathan Penley on harp and Julia Palmer-Price on cello.

We had a lovely start to the day in Malvern with a Buddhist blessing from Kaspa and a huge turn out of day walkers. We had a lovely lunch at Shop at the Top at Callows End. We were welcomed into a church for an afternoon loo stop by the lovely Gary, minister at Powick, and made the final approach into Worcester met by the bishop and arch deacon. We finally made it to St George’s for refreshments and accomodation and huddled round the radio to listen to Sarah on BBC Hereford talk about the Camino! 📻

Western Camino – Day 6

👣 We left the lovely Mary DeCrypt Church in Gloucester for a day that whilst rainy, was thrilling in its flatness. We followed quite a bit of the Severn Way along the River Severn and enjoyed the event at Tewkesbury Baptist Church with Tewkesbury Friends of the Earth!

Western Camino – Day 5

👣 Western Camino Day 5: Over 20 Caministas left Stroud, after a beautiful silent sit at St Laurence’s Church. We were lead by Hugh from St Laurence’s Church who navigated us to Gloucester! Highlights of the walk were a) reaching the top of the Painswick Beacon for lunch b) some very curious cows and c) waving our flags above the M5 bridge and getting lots of waves from motorists. And would be remiss not to mention the colourful and scrumptious food awaiting for us at St Mary de Crypt Church, Gloucester!

Western Camino – Day 3 to 4

👣 Western Camino Day 3: walked to Stroud and were met by The Stroud Red Band!

👣 Western Camino Day 4: Our time in Stroud continued with an interfaith gathering at St Laurence Church. Pilgrims – including the youngest, 9 month old baby Lucas – shared their stories, poetry and songs, along with musical and thought-provoking pieces from many local contributors. After the ceremony the group were guided on a walk around Stroud, visiting the many sites of historical rebellion and climate action for which Stroud is well-known, with a visit to Capels Mill where pilgrims helped Fred Miller of the Stroud Valleys Project to carve and place a Camino stone on the Climate Cairn.

Western Camino – Day 2

We left Zion United Church in Frampton Cotterell and said goodbye to the wonderful Zoe who had cared for us and given us so much heartfelt hospitality.  We were blessed by Stephen – we have been richly blessed on this journey so far, and it’s a very pleasant experience (not often encountered in my previous job as a government economist!). We’ve been enjoying learning different songs each day, this time Janne led us in Bella Mamma.

The first part of the day saw us heading to Rangeworthy where we popped into the excellent Crown and Rose who let us camp out in their garden for a bit; we had the first chips of our Camino.  The rest of the day saw some excellent countryside as we crossed many stiles, most of which were high and wobbly! We also had many brushes with cows and their calves in this part of the walk.  Ginny, who joined us for a couple of days, turns out to be an excellent cow whisperer. We eventually arrived in the lovely Wotton Under Edge where we have had some amazing veggie curries at the Baptist Church which has really lifted our spirits, particularly as it was followed by some pretty scrumptious apple crumble.  This lovely church is also very exciting because it has a shower!  We ❤️ showers.  We have a discussion forum this evening with people from the church and tomorrow we walk to Stroud.

Tacitly endorsing clean energy!

Special shout outs for Sarah our indefatigable walk leader over the past couple of days and Iszi, the world’s most patient back marker!


The Camino schedule

(as of Aug 2021, for reference):

‘Camino to COP’ pilgrimage from Bristol to COP26 passing through Gloucestershire in September

In early September, a small group (between 10 and 20) of ‘Camino to COP’ pilgrims on the ‘Western Camino’ route to COP26 in Glasgow will be passing through Gloucestershire, with stop-overs in Frampton Cotterell (9th September) Wotton-under-Edge (10th), Stroud (11th & 12th), Gloucester (13th) and Tewkesbury (14th).  They will be starting at Bristol on 9th September and joining on the 20th at Birmingham with the main ‘Camino’ that starts in London on 5th September ( and will arrive in Glasgow on 29th October, two days before COP26 opens on 31st October.   

This pilgrimage is described by the organisers as “a walk for everyone, although initiated by Extinction Rebellion UK Faith Bridge” – i.e. it is intended to be inter-faith and open to people of no faith.  Christian Climate Action are involved in organising the ‘Western Camino’. 

The organisers’ website states: “The purpose of the walk is to build alliances and engage communities along the route –  faith communities and other local communities – and to spread the word about the urgency of the need for meaningful action to address the global climate and ecological emergency. This is an opportunity for connection and outreach and is expressly not a physically disruptive or civilly disobedient action. Those involved are asked to sign up to this principle.” 

The Stroud stop-over (arriving 11th September, leaving 13th) will be longer than the others, providing the pilgrims with a rest day from walking.  At the time of writing (18th July), a programme of events over that weekend is being planned by members of Stroud Green Christian Group and allies.  Potential opportunities for local involvement and help include:

  • opportunities to walk with the pilgrims from Wotton-under-Edge to Stroud on 11th September (12 miles) and from Stroud to Gloucester (11 miles) on 13th September;
  • offers of overnight accommodation for individual pilgrims on 11th and/or 12th September; and
  • offers of practical assistance with events, including publicity, catering & stewarding.

Please send any expressions of interest in getting involved with the Stroud stop-over to, who will forward to the relevant organisers.

We hope to have further information about the other stop-overs in Gloucestershire in next month’s newsletter.

9th SeptThur1BristolFrampton Cotterell9.3 
10th SeptFri2Frampton CotterellWotton-under-Edge10 
11th SetSat3Wotton-under-EdgeStroud12 
12th SeptSun4RESTREST  
13th SeptMon5StroudGloucester11 
14th SeptTues6GloucesterTewkesbury10 
15th Septwed7TewkesburyUpton on Severn7 
16th SeptThurs8Upton on SevernWorcester8 
17th SeptFri9WorcesterStourport12 
18th SeptSat10StourportStourbridge11 
19th SeptSun11RESTREST12 
20th SeptMon13StourbridgeBirmingham9 

Further information: Tewkesbury

Camino to CoP 26 in Glasgow
Are you concerned about the climate and ecological crisis?

Camino to CoP 26 is a pilgrimage for all faiths (and no faith) to the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow:
• as an act of faith and love for our planet,
• drawing attention to communities to come together to address the climate and ecological emergency.

The local legs of the pilgrimage are:
Tuesday 14th September: Gloucester to Tewkesbury
Wednesday 15th September: Tewkesbury-Upton-Malvern

Do you feel inspired to…

• join for a day or part of a day? 
• welcome the group into town (we will aim to arrive in Tewkesbury along the Severn Way approximately 4pm on 14th September)
• meet with us in the evening at Tewkesbury Baptist Church for stories of our journey in the evening as why we are walking
• see us off on our next stage, leaving 9 am on 15th September, from Link Top. Walk with us out of town (along the Severn Way) or a bit further

More information:

Contact for more information: Iszi Jones