the Coat of Hopes leaves Newhaven and visits Lewes


August 30


10:00 am - 08:00 pm



Let’s send the Coat of Hopes on its way to the COP summit in Glasgow in November.
On Bank Holiday Monday, watch the Coat of Hopes set off from Newhaven beach (10am), or walk with it to Lewes. Watch it lap the Dripping Pan at Lewes Football Club (5pm) and join a stitching event at the Depot in the evening (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. At 6.30 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!

Love and hopes
Mark, Sarah and everyone at XR Lewes Central