University of Edinburgh: Patchwork banners add colour to skyline for COP26

Two vibrant patchwork banners have been created by faith communities in Scotland to send a message of support for tackling the climate crisis.

The giant 22 metre installations are part of a series of initiatives organised by the School of Divinity at the University of Edinburgh to mark the UN Climate Change Conference – COP26 in Glasgow.

Colourful creations
The banners – which are suspended from the towers of the College on the Mound in Edinburgh – are made up of green, natural and recycled materials such as old bedsheets and clothes and materials.

Some 40 faith and community groups, students and staff have contributed patches with a design on the theme of “Creation Care”. The works have been stitched into the banners by two expert patchworkers who are members of an Edinburgh church.

Organisers say the striking banners were created to bring together faith communities in a unified expression of support for raising awareness of the climate emergency.

Community and faith groups have shown fantastic support in contributing designs resulting in a striking installation in an iconic spot. The patches spell out the words – Creation Care Not Ecocide –as a faith-based expression of collective climate action.

Dr Emma Wild-Wood
School of Divinty
The ‘Art for the Planet’ installation will be on show at New College until mid-November.

The banners project is part of a series of activities organised by the School of Divinity to show support for climate issues. They are part of the School’s celebrations of the 175th anniversary of day when Reverend Dr Thomas Chalmers – described as Scotland’s greatest nineteenth-century churchman – laid the foundation stone of New College.

Earlier in October the School hosted one of the stations of an interfaith pilgrimage organised by the Edinburgh Interfaith Association. More than 40 pilgrims of different faiths and beliefs from across the UK and Europe came to Edinburgh to join together and walk for climate justice.

Partnership events
The Alexander Duff Lecture – an annual School of Divinity lecture sponsored by the Church of Scotland – will examine climate change, migration and mission. This year’s speaker is Ruth Padilla DeBorst, a leading Latin American theologian with a passion for ecological justice.

School of Divinity students have been involved in a day for young climate activists at St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, and a screening of Anote’s Ark, a documentary that tells the story of the Pacific Island nation of Kiribati – one of the most remote places on the planet – as it races against imminent sea-level rise.

Members of different religious traditions will gather together to discuss scriptural passages on the theme of ecology and the environment as an online public event organised by the School in association with Edinburgh Interfaith Association.

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