Green Christian @ The Big One
21-24 April 2023
The Big One weekend of climate protest kicked off with a panel event with members of the House of Lords Environment and Climate Change Committee. Bishop Steven Croft, in his climate stripes stole, opened with:
“The Church of England is moving too slowly on this issue. But we have moved significantly over the last few years & that in part is down to the role of protesters”
The event was interrupted for a short time by Piers Corbyn shouting into a loud speaker that climate change was a conspiracy. Someone at the back of the packed church began singing Amazing Grace and soon the whole church was singing, drowning out the shouting and filling the air with harmonies.
The church over spilled into the garden for the No Faith in Fossil Fuels service, hosted by Tearfund, Christian Aid, CAFOD, The Salvation Army, Engage Worship, World Vision, Operation Noah, A Rocha UK, Christian Climate Action and Green Christian.
We were then led to Parliament Square by leaders and representatives of all UK denominations and a group of children. The Salvation Army band continued to play for us.
We stopped at the Shell building on the way to say and prayer and deliver a letter. Shell locked their doors and refused to accept it – even from Archbishop John Sentamu, who called it
“…the sheer, sheer arrogance of Shell”
Unappreciated by most of us until afterwards, the Salvation Army band was playing Storm the forts of darkness – see Green Christian member, Ruth Musgrave’s blog on this.
The pilgrimage then continued to Parliament Square where Commissioner Anthony Cotterill, the head of the Salvation Army gave a blessing on the protest.
The family-friendly protest continued over the weekend, ending at 6pm each day. Green Christian members got involved with Christian Climate Action’s various prayer vigils and worship services.
On the Saturday, we joined the Black Majority Churches worship service facing Parliament where Green Christian’s Ruth Jarman had to step up and lead the singing as the singer was not able to come. The Revd Reverend Ronald Nathan of Hoggard A. M. E. Zion Church, Saint Michael, Barbados said:
“Wherever you hear the word of God it requires and action from us…Let us give our faith feet and hands.”
We joined the biodiversity march on the Saturday afternoon – Earth Day. The streets around Parliament flowing with colour, banners, words of wisdom and hope, families and young people.
Someone wrote in the WhatsApp chat we had to keep in contact with each other that the weekend was “bashing our heads against the walls of Parliament with all our friends.” The lack of any response from the government was unsurprising, but still a disappointment. However slim the chance of any government action remotely commensurate with the scale required, Green Christian will continue to work together to pray for and demand it.
Comments on "Green Christian @ The Big One"
I loved being part of the Big One; and I look forward to what next. I’m so grateful to all who organise.
I so admired all those who attended "Green Christian"@ The Big one and hope and pray that the outcome of all given with heartfelt to the rest of us will not fall on stony ground.
It was wonderful to share this weekend with so many lovely, inspiring - and determined - people! It gives me hope, and hope is certainly needed in these desperate times.