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The Big One - demanding climate action!

Published: 27th April 2023

A selfie taken outside the Houses of Parliament

On Friday 21 April around 1400 Christians, including a small group from the Diocese of Worcester, joined “The Big One” in London, to demand action on the climate emergency and cost of living crisis.

Supported by more than 200 groups and organisations, including Extinction Rebellion, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, Christian Climate Action, and A Rocha UK, The Big One was a welcoming, family friendly, creative, and engaging event seeing over 100,000 people gathering outside the Houses of Parliament for a weekend of peaceful protest, music, talks, workshops and performing arts. 

Becky Eliot, Vicar at Malvern Holy Trinity & St James, said:

“Today was the first time I have ever been on a protest, so I was a little nervous. I shouldn't have been! It was amazing to gather with so many other Christians to pray for and stand with those whose lives are so adversely affected by climate change and to stand up for climate justice. Individually it is easy to feel overwhelmed by climate change but today was a reminder that together we can make a difference.”

John Sentamu addresses the crowds holding a megaphone.In the morning, Christians congregated at St John’s church in Waterloo for a “No Faith in Fossil Fuels” service which included music, talks and prayers followed by a pilgrimage to Parliament Square led by Bishops, including the former Archbishop of York and current chair of Christian Aid, John Sentamu.
 
He addressed the congregation and said: "Climate change is the most insidious and brutally indiscriminate force of our time. The people suffering the most have done the least to cause it.” 

Sue Adeney, Assistant Curate (Upton-on-Severn, Ripple, Earls Croome w Hill Croome & Strensham) said:

“Going on a march or protest is always encouraging as you gather with people of the same passion and vision. We gathered as Christians with a care for God's creation. We couldn't get into St John’s church as there were too many of us! As we stood outside and joined in worship, I noticed the inscription around this 18th century church: “All may have if they dare try, glorious life or the grave”. Climate justice is what we marched for, which would try to secure the lives of those who suffer from climate change if we, the fortunate, dared to change.”

Sue added: “I was moved by the enormous range of people prepared to support their passion and longing for action from the government. That gives me hope for the future.”

James Atkinson, Diocesan Digital Media Adviser, also attended the protest and said: “It was a fantastic day with a really positive atmosphere – despite the reasons we were protesting! It felt like a festival with music, dancing and colourful flags and banners, but also educational with various stages around Westminster with guest speakers and workshops. It’s becoming very clear that the world my two year old daughter is growing up in will be a very different to world her grandparents and I grew up in. Climate change is happening now and the effects can clearly be seen around the world, and I want to do all I can to ensure she lives on a planet which is in a better state than the generations before her left behind. I was marching for her future.”

See James’ photos from the day on the Diocesan Climate Action Facebook group. Please do join the group, share your news, advice and tips to encourage others in their efforts to be more eco-friendly and live more sustainably as churches and as individuals.

Page last updated: Thursday 27th April 2023 10:06 AM

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