We’re excited to announce the details of the workshops we’ll be hosting at our upcoming Bridging Divides, Loving Earth Conference on 12th July 2023, where we’ll be exploring the following questions:

How can we come together across our differences to love the Earth in this time of ecological unravelling? What does it mean to look at our civilisational crisis as a spiritual crisis? How do we collaborate rather than fracture into polarisation? What kind of leadership is needed? How can we find the courage to face the truth about the climate emergency? What role can faith or spirituality play in our response? 

The power of art and pilgrimage in crises: Coat of Hopes – Barbara Keal

The Coat of Hopes is a patchwork pilgrim coat, made, worn and walked by hundreds of people over hundreds of miles from Newhaven on the south coast of England to the gates of COP 26, the UN climate summit, in Glasgow autumn 2021. It is an example of non-oppositional activism, collective meaning-making, art, and pilgrimage as tools for grassroots community mobilising. 

“A Coat that’s made by everyone for everyone to wear” as it says in the song which is sung to declare it’s work whenever a new person wears it – the Coat is made up of pieces of blanket into which people from along its route and beyond have sewn or otherwise marked, their griefs, remembrances, prayers and hopes for their local landscapes in the face of climate breakdown. 

The invitation to put on the coat, is to experience, in its wearing the warmth (of the love it has been made with), empowering you to carry the weight of responsibility we all share. The responsibility to respond with our whole self to the climate and ecological emergency we face together.

In this workshop Barbara will share the Coat song and some stories from its journey, she will also invite participants to wear or hold the Coat if they would like to and share some words or some silence with the group.

Depolarising Conversations for Activists – Ila Malhotra Gregory & Harriet Terrill

We are living in a time of deep cultural and political polarisation, and these ripples of conflict are often felt and seen in the world of activism. Whether advocating for social, political, economic, or climate justice, activists are frequently met with opposition – both from those who benefit from the structures that they seek to change, and from those who might agree on the problem, but disagree on how to address it. Whilst conflict is to be expected on this path, how we engage with disagreement and difference holds the potential to derail us or lead us to metamorphosis.

What are the ways of being and relating that we can embody in moments of opposition? Which tools and approaches can enable us to transform conflict? How might activism evolve if we lead with love? 

Folk Song of this land – Sam Lee

Immerse in the songs of England, Ireland and Wales With rounds and ballads. According to Sam Lee, folk song is “a language of connectedness and enchantment” that enlivens our belonging with the human and more-than-human communities. Joining in with these ancient songs, we give them life to continue as they have been for centuries, sometimes even millenniums before us. And these songs remind us of what it is to be alive with connectedness and communion with the world around us.

Listening as a Tool for Change – Michael Gibbs

In a time when the world is facing numerous crises and the voices of both people and the Earth need to be heard and understood, this workshop explores the transformative power of deep listening. Through experiential exercises and reflective discussions, we will cultivate a capacity to listen empathically, create regenerative spaces, and attune ourselves to the more-than-human voices. This workshop will provide an opportunity to reflect on your communication skills and to heighten awareness of your capacity for empathy and positive change.

Rights of Earth in Practice – Susie Talbot

Around the world, the rights of rivers, forests, mountains and other natural entities are being recognised in human legal systems. This workshop explores the growing rights of nature movement and the potential implications for our laws, decision-making practices and relationships with the more-than-human world in the UK in coming years.

Join us!

Alongside all of these wonderful workshops, we’ll hear keynote talks from David Hinton and Scilla Elworthy, a somatic meditation from Kaira Jewel Lingo, a presentation on Embodying Togetherness from Bruna Kadletz, and a performance from folk legend Sam Lee. There will also be a panel discussion with Rupert Read, Just Stop Oil Activist Will Goldring, Minna Salami and Nora Firaq.

Join us! Visit the event page now to secure your place.