Along the way, with the Coat of Hopes

by | Feb 7, 2024

The Coat of Hopes is walking again…

Anyone and everyone is invited to join it along its path. It offers a powerful and beautiful opportunity for personal pilgrimage and non-oppositional activism, opening a quiet conversation with people across the country about their griefs, hopes, prayers and remembrances for the land they call home, in the face of climate and ecological breakdown.

The Coat is resting now. It will start walking again on Sunday, February 18th from Newcastle Cathedral, heading down to Darlington, and then gradually on to York for Easter tide.

You can find details of routes and dates, and read some of the stories of the Coat here.

If you would like to walk with the Coat of Hopes for a mile a day or a week, email here.

I joined it in the Scottish Borders and walked and wore and sang it down along the Tweed into many little villages. The Coat warmed a man whose wife had died, as he wore it through the garden she had planted; it danced and played with some fishermen, and whispered softly to women stitching in a library; It embraced a woman not long home from surgery and listened to the wind and the seals as it walked across the sands to Lindisfarne, the Holy Isle. It narrowly missed a dunking in the river as we slipped and slid along the wetter, steeper parts of the trail, helping each other along with word and hand and a stout walking stick.

Walking with the Coat of Hopes is a profound act of pilgrimage: An inner and an outer work. Inner, as you step into the slow rhythm of service to this sacred artefact that has been made with deep intention by hundreds of people from across the country; walking, as pilgrims have through the ages, inviting and accepting the hospitality of strangers; open to new people and experiences and the quiet voice of Spirit whispering in the hedgerows and along the lanes.

Outer, as you open the invitation and offer the hospitality of the Coat to everyone you encounter along the way, creating a sacred space and sharing a sacred story at each meeting; proclaiming the truth that we belong together.

“Where life is cherished. There peace is found. Where people are united in the richness of their hearts, there peace exists as a tangible reality.” – Daisaku Ikeda

The Coat of Hopes cherishes everyone, with an offering and a promise of warmth and of connection. At the same time, it calls and reminds us of our responsibility to create that warmth, to live that connection for and with each other. Walking with it, singing with it, slowly, gently, almost imperceptibly, the Coat offers, encourages, and supports my heart to open, and to open a little more, and a little more.

If you need cherishing, if you need hope, if you need to open and feed your heart as we step into all that 2024 is asking of us, come meet and walk with the Coat.

~ Written by OneSpirit Core Tutor, Sarah MacDonald

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