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Be there at the start of the Coat Of Hope’s journey!

30th August 2021

Send the patchwork coat on its way to COP 26 in Glasgow in November. You can even make a patch!
Cheer it on at the start at Newhaven Bach (10am) or walk with it to Lewes. Watch it do a lap of Lewes football club (5.30pm) and join a patch making workshop at the Depot (6.30pm).

The wonderful and indefatigable Barbara Keal, artist and Lewes XR activist, has created the “Coat of Hopes.” Described as “a community created patchwork coat, carrying people’s hopes on pilgrimage”, the coat will set out on a nine week, 500-mile journey from Newhaven on Monday 30th August, arriving in Glasgow for the COP26 climate summit.

Worn by many and varied “coat pilgrims” the initially blank “undercoat” will gather patches made of blanket embellished by local people along the way. Patches will be added to the coat at regular “stitching stop” events along the way. The first patch will be sewn to the coat on Newhaven beach before its departure at 10am on Monday. On arrival in Lewes at around 5pm it will make a lap of the Dripping Pan on the back of midfielder Bradley Pritchard, at the end of Lewes FC’s match against Horsham. Then at 6.30pm, Depot Cinema will host the first stitching stop event at which the coat song will be sung and patches from the Lewes area will be sewn on to the coat.

Although she’s been supported enthusiastically by XR and other organisations, Barbara has undertaken this project independently. Inclusivity is at the heart of it, and it’s essential that the coat should be viewed as being made by all, for all. In Barbara’s own words, “The coat will carry some voices that are rarely raised. It is not making a demand, but living a story. Its work is to share stories, build connections, start conversations and by its beauty, born of the energy committed to its creation and journey, maybe make that little space in which hearts can be changed.”

So – come and see the coat on Bank Holiday Monday. Or make a patch. (Around 300 are needed – patch making kits supplied.) Become a pilgrim (you can walk five miles, or fifty.) Find groups who you would like to be represented on the coat. Or organise a stitching event. Or donate some money. You can find out more about all this here

Let’s all help Barbara make this the unique, inspirational and powerful event it deserves to be!


30th August 2021


Barbara Keal