Lent Vigil for Climate Justice – parish magazine article

Magazine article by Green Christian Vice Chair, Barbara Echlin. Do use as is, or adapt as you wish. I have bracketed a sentence at the end about “joining me” – do use this too if you are going and hoping to rally the troops to join you.

Green Christian is joining with Christian Aid, Tearfund, CAFOD, A Rocha, the Salvation Army, CCA and others in planning a prayerful and powerful climate action in Lent this year. This follows on from the London No Faith in Fossil Fuels service and pilgrimage at The Big One in April last year.

From Ash Wednesday, for ten days, a 24/7 Lent Vigil for Climate Justice will take place outside Parliament.  Can you have a think to see if you could give an hour or two to it and if so when? It doesn’t have to be the night shift! There will be a rota to ensure every hour is covered. It would be so lovely if our church could participate by taking a slot.

The Vigil begins with a reflective Service at St John’s Waterloo at 12 noon on Wednesday 14 February. An Ashing ceremony will follow the Service outside in the church garden. From there we will make our way to Parliament where the 24/7 Lent Vigil for Climate Justice will begin at 3pm.

At the Service we will be lamenting the failure to address the climate and environmental crisis. We will bear witness to the impacts of climate disruption on our global neighbours who have done the least to cause the crisis.

As we approach the resurrection transformation of Easter, in longing for the change we want to see, we will pray for transformation, even in the midst of injustice. Our prayers will be for bold climate action from the UK Government.

Wednesday 14 February is also St Valentine’s Day: a day to show our love for this beautiful planet, our common home, which we share with all God’s creatures.

Around the world creation is crying out. Heatwaves, fires, droughts and floods are becoming more frequent, wrecking lives, land, and livelihoods. Meanwhile, the biggest polluters who have caused this crisis make vast profits from fossil fuels. As creation groans, the poorest, who have done the least to cause the problem, are paying the price. This is unjust. Locating our vigil outside Westminster is a political move. We want to bear witness to past failures to act on and to the impacts of the climate crisis, and pray for the UK Government to take bold climate action. We also want our prayers to move us into action to call on our politicians for climate justice.  

We believe that the UK government has a historic and current responsibility to take bold climate action. At COP28, while we celebrated the Loss and Damage Fund becoming operational with support pledged for climate vulnerable countries, the UK’s financial commitments were well below what is possible, and came from existing climate funds. Meanwhile UK based fossil fuel companies are raking in billions of pounds a year. 

At the vigil, as we pray, we will call on the UK Government to: 

  • Make the UK’s biggest polluters pay for climate action
  • Deliver and build on the UK’s international climate finance pledges and pay into the UN’s Loss and Damage Fund   
  • Ban new UK-based fossil fuel projects    

[I will be going up on the 14th for the Service, and probably one of the other days too. Let me know if you can join me and I can share the practical details.]

Please join us!

Find out more here: greenchristian.org.uk/join-our-no-faith-in-fossil-fuels-lent-vigil/



Author: Ruth Jarman | Date: 8 January, 2024 | Category: Church Magazine Climate Emergency | Comments: 0

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