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COP26 prayer boat

Prayer boats reach Glasgow for COP26

Published on 5 November 2021

Written by Leanne Clelland

It turns out that you can’t walk far in Glasgow carrying a 6ft tall boat without people stopping to chat.

On the glorious second day of COP26, an installation of YCCN prayer boats were strung into a large red boat frame.

The frame, created out of recycled wood, a whiskey barrel and wooden lampstand, is painted Christian Aid red. Local artist, Lorna Gallagher built two large boats in her studio and festooned them with paper prayers sent to Glasgow from churches throughout the UK. 

Twenty-five thousand people sent prayer boats to Christian Aid as part of the YCCN (Youth Christian Climate Network) initiative.

YCCN young people walked from the G7 in Cornwall to Glasgow over 4 months. As they walked, churches in England and Scotland greeted them along the route.

COP26 boat YCCN

YCCN reps and artist Lorna Gallagher with prayer boats in an art studio on Dumbarton Road

COP26 prayer boat

YCCN and Christian Aid staff walked with the boat along sections of Dumbarton Road past the Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery where World Leaders dined on the first night of the UN climate conference.

Passers-by, children from local nurseries and women out for an afternoon tea all stopped to read the prayers and chat about how little paper boats can hold the biggest hopes and prayers for the world.

Supporters in churches in Dundee, Dumfries, Castlemilk, Hillhead and Inverness have made boats to join the flotilla in Glasgow.

During the fortnight of COP26 the boats are being hosted in an art studio on Dumbarton Road, in Sandyford Henderson Memorial Church and at Glasgow Cathedral for The Time is Now event on Monday 8 November.

COP26 prayer boat

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