On Sat 17th November
- Green Christian held its Annual Members’ Meeting.
- Rt Revd Dr David Atkinson gave talk based on his book “Hope Rediscovered – Biblical wisdom for an anxious world”
- Unrelated to Green Christian, but only 10 minutes walk away, a non-violent-direct-action event “Extinction Rebellion” brought up to 6000 people to London who succeeded in blocking the five road bridges across the river Thames.
For context, for people who may read this post in one or maybe five year’s time -Here are some other things that are happening:
- Theresa May, the Prime Minister, continued to show the plan of how we could have Brexit and leave Europe. (Note In the recent budget nothing was said about climate change to my knowledge)
- The continuing war in Yemen means that many people are starving.
- A new president has just been elected to Brazil who may not be sympathetic to rainforest conservation.
- Over the last 2 months the BBC has at last started pointing out implications of climate change and species loss, and what needs to be done, instead of just hosting debates between climate change deniers and scientists.
So our meeting:
40-50 people met for a shared lunch at 1 pm, then attended Green Christian’s Annual Members’ Meeting. It was a time to meet other members and in some cases see and take away Green Christian leaflets. People came from as far away as Yorkshire and Cornwall.
Poppy Pickard chaired the meeting. Paul Bodenham pointed out key features in the annual report. Eleanor Orr showed people the accounts. James Buchanon showed people the “Fossil Free Churches” report. Niall Briggs talked about Joy in Enough.
Bishop David gave a talk. After the talk the room broke into small groups to discuss five questions. For more on this, see Ellen Teague’s post, and look our for an article by Bishop David in the Spring-Summer 2019 edition of Green Christian Magazine
Deborah Tomkins led prayers at the end. We prayed for the people taking part in the Extinction Rebellion action on the Thames bridges, only ten minutes walk away from St Andrews near Waterloo where we were meeting.
Extinction Rebellion – urges the government to act on climate change. On 17th November took the form of a mass day of action, where 5 bridges over the Thames were blocked.
Several people at the Annual Members Meeting had visited, or walked across the bridges on the way to the meeting. Indeed at least four members could not come to the meeting because they were with Christian Climate Action on Blackfriar’s Bridge bridge.
Jeremy Williams, who called in at the AMM said
“We were keen to support Extinction Rebellion, and I took along my two children. The atmosphere on Blackfriars Bridge was as much of a street party as a protest, with music and children’s activities. We chalked climate change messages on the road, blew bubbles, and made badges to give away. I was hoping that the children would understand that we can be part of the solution to climate change, as a family and as an expression of our Christian faith. When we got home, my seven year old son got out his half-size guitar, and with the two chords he has learned so far, wrote a protest song called ‘standing on the bridge’. So it seems to have made an impression!”
Judith Allinson said
“I am glad I had time to visit the group on Waterloo Bridge early in the morning (well 10.30am) on the way to the Green Christian Meeting. I was mesmerised by the juxtapostion of so many facets:
The achievement of having closed the bridges; The sunshine, the beauty of the water; (we were so lucky with the weather .. even if it is the climate people are protesting about); the people sitting on sleeping bags, or singing, or holding banners: the good nature of people and police – we are lucky to live in a country where people do not get shot for being in demonstrations; (My heart goes out to protestors in other countries who have suffered); The peace on the road with no traffic. The buildings on the skyline – St Paul’s Cathedral is the only easily seen church now. The sky-scrapers of the banks and commercial buildings at Canary Wharf – organising the trade and development that is destroying the rainforest, handling the money that makes money for the UK – yet at the same time some may also be helping my pension. The Thames that has a barrier to prevent flooding at extreme high tides… will that need to be used more with Climate change?”
So, pray about the issues; Encourage your church to do Eco Church; Think about the implications of your lifestyle and investments. Appreciate Nature; Help others… (And I await a few more suggestions from the group discussions)