Clergy Comment November 2019
On October 7th our vicars, Azariah and Joe, joined the protest for Climate Justice in central London. They gathered with people from churches across the country on Lambeth Bridge, which had been allocated as the Faith Bridge during the latest Extinction Rebellion protest. Azariah was invited to join the platform alongside the leaders of Tearfund, Christian Aid and CAFOD, all of whom spoke passionately about the devastating effects of climate change on the poorest countries in the world and the need for greater government action. Joe took placards made by our Scouts and Brownies that had been presented to him during the Harvest Festival Parade Service the day before, enabling their message to reach a wider audience.
Joe commented: ‘I’m not usually one for protesting. But knowing that the people I visited in Mozambique earlier this year no longer have homes and harvests due to the catastrophic effects of climate-related cyclones, I felt compelled to turn up. I’m pleased I did. Closing a bridge is a serious business, causing serious disruption, and is not something that I felt comfortable about. But the message needs to be heard and I felt that it was right that the church was represented. We need the government to take action, since merely changing personal habits will not solve the problem.'
Azariah reflected: ‘We were on the bridge because the climate emergency is not an accident. Man-made greed and shortsightedness at the highest level are fuelling a fire which is growing uncontrollably. The climate emergency is taking the lives and lands of those we love and have a connection with through faith or blood or both. I think of the loss of life and livelihood of our brothers and sisters in Mozambique, and I think personally about the impact of this emergency on my family in the Caribbean. We were on the bridge to say God is with them. Emmanuel. God is with them as God is with us.’
If you'd like to donate to our link parish of Pemba in Mozambique, please visit www.manna-anglican.org.