Coat of Hopes: Extraordinary 'patchwork of emotions' coat on display in Yorkshire this month

A patchwork coat full of emotion will be in Bradford until the end of the month.

The Coat of Hopes is an extraordinary community-created patchwork coat made up of over 600 blanket patches. It will be on display from Saturday during the Cathedral’s usual opening hours.

Having completed over 932 miles of travelling, Bradford Cathedral will welcome the Coat of Hopes, where it will be displayed for three weeks, in collaboration with Shine, West Bowling, a mission partner of the Cathedral.

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The patches on the coat include the griefs, remembrances, prayers and/or hopes of a person or group, for the place where they live, in the face of climate and ecological breakdown.

The Coat of Hopes. Picture: Christopher ChungThe Coat of Hopes. Picture: Christopher Chung
The Coat of Hopes. Picture: Christopher Chung

Starting out blank, patches were sewn into the coat on its walk. The coat was worn and walked from the south coast of England to COP 26 in Glasgow in 2021. This was a nine-week “pilgrimage” with the destination being the coming together of world leaders to make commitments towards a liveable future on Earth.

Since then, the coat has been travelling across Scotland and back down into England, recently completing the leg between Edinburgh to York. It will soon set off from the Friargate Quaker Meeting House to Bradford Cathedral, where it will be displayed in the West End tower space from now until Saturday June 29.

The coat will arrive on Friday evening, at the start of the Tree of Life concert, and will be available to view during the Cathedral’s usual opening hours of Monday to Saturday from 10am to 4pm, and around services, unless it is on display temporarily elsewhere in the community.

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Alongside the Coat of Hopes, there will be information boards giving more details about the
piece, as well as a chance to watch a short video about its original journey.

On June 29, at the end of its stay, the coat will continue its walk to Haworth Parish Church, a patronage church of the Cathedral, and all are invited to walk with the coat on this journey of 11 miles.

Artist Barbara Keal said: “The coat’s work through this ongoing pilgrimage is to offer everyone the invitation to stop and, in wearing it, to focus on the climate and ecological emergency, and our connection to all those others who face it with us.”

The Rev Canon Ned Lunn, Canon for Intercultural Mission and the Arts at Bradford Cathedral, saids: “We are excited to be collaborating with our mission partner, Shine in West Bowling, in welcoming the Coat of Hopes to Bradford.

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“As we look ahead to being the City of Culture next year we are planning a whole season of events and exhibitions at the Cathedral that reflect our textile history.

“The Coat of Hopes is a foretaste of these as well as connecting with one of our passions at the Cathedral, care for the environment.”

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