PRESS RELEASE: Christian Climate Activists Hold Vigil on Anniversary of Climate Talks

29th November 2016

On Monday 28th November Christian Climate Action held a prayer vigil outside the Department for Business, Enterprise and Industrial Strategy (DBEIS) as part of their campaign for stronger action from the government to tackle dangerous climate change which is threatening the creation God has called us to care for.

 

On the first anniversary of the Paris Climate talks, the group wanted to highlight the fact that although the UK has ratified the Paris Agreement, government is taking action which is actually making climate change worse. In its first six months in power the current government scrapped or amended 13 policies designed to keep fossil fuels in the ground and, most tellingly, scrapped the Department for Energy and Climate Change and moved the remit for climate change to DBEIS, a department that doesn’t even mention it in its title.

 

Ruth Jarman explained why the vigil was held:

 

‘While the artic sees record high temperatures and DBEIS talks about how seriously it taking climate change, every policy changed made has increased emissions and means we keep burning fossil fuels. We were praying that this department would implement the huge changes that are required to protect our climate and show the global leadership that the world, and our children, so desperately need.’

 

Helen Whitall also took part:

 

‘It seems that although the government continues to “talk the talk” on climate change, it acts in reverse. It is as though government minsters thing they can tackle climate change simply by appeasing the “green movement”. But the truth is it is not the likes of us that need to be appeased, it is the climate itself, and creation won’t hear our words or notice our signed agreements. All it will notice is real reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and so far we are heading in the wrong direction on that. Caution; melting ice ahead.’

 

Whilst the vigil was taking place, other group members dropped melting ice in the entrance to DBEIS’ building and whitewashed the outside of the building to a height of six foot to highlight the fact that current government policies are contributing to melting icecaps and consigning the department to be six foot under water.

 

Fr Martin Newell, who took part in this action was asked by police why he was vandalising the building. He replied: ‘This department is vandalising the planet and we are simply trying to stop them.’

 

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Happy Birthday Paris Agreement Liturgy

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Call to Worship

O Divine Voice,

You sing and the universe comes into being;

O Divine Breath,

You breathe and all things spring to life;

O Divine Word,

You call and creation is sustained;

O Divine Flesh,

You are born among us, and the Creator is clothed in creation;

O Divine Spirit,

You contain all that has been formed;

O Divine Life,

You are the pulse of all that is;

And so, in faith and expectation, in wonder and celebration

we gather to remember this mystery:

In you all things live and move and have being

In all things, you live and move and express your Divine artistry;

And so we join with creation in the eternal song of worship and devotion.

Amen

Song

  1. O come, O come, Emmanuel
    And ransom captive Israel
    That mourns in lonely exile here
    Until the Son of God appears
    Rejoice! Rejoice!
    Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel
  1. Creation groans in agony
    We hold the keys to liberty
    But so worn down by cares of life
    We e’en neglect our own in strife
    (rejoice…)
  1. O God, we feel so far from Thee
    Thy presence, Thy eternity
    This fallen world is far from home
    And You seem hid by cloud, unknown
    (rejoice…)
  1. And on that day when God shall dwell
    With man in our new ‘Israel’
    Thy kingdom come, our fall undone
    And all creation joined as one
    (rejoice…)

 

Confession

Even as we receive again your vision of life,

we recognise that we have been blind to its universal heartbeat;

Even as we remember the connectedness of all things,

we acknowledge that we have divided and separated ourselves,

and forgotten our part in your creation;

Even as we are energised by your breath within us,

we confess our destructiveness,

and repent of the harm we have done to ourselves and our world.

 

To symbolise our involvement in the very idolatry, deceit, apathy and hypocrisy that we are fighting against, we may now, if we wish, paint a little whitewash on ourselves.

 

Even as we act against the idolatry, deceit, apathy and hypocrisy that is fueling climate change,

we confess that we are, ourselves, deeply involved in all these things.

For the sake of Jesus, the firstborn of all creation,

who, in death, disarmed all that is evil,

and, in resurrection, stripped death of power,

We ask you to recreate us, to reconnect us,

and to restore to us the vision of your life in creation,

and the power to live it.

Amen

The Lord’s Prayer

Statement of Faith

Let us proclaim together our conviction of, and commitment to, God’s purpose in creation:

We believe that God gave birth to the universe and all that is in it,

and we proclaim that God’s life is beyond and within it all.

We believe that, in Jesus, God was revealed in human flesh,

and we proclaim that all is recreated through Christ’s saving work.

We believe that God’s Spirit energises the created order,

and we proclaim that all things are one,

and everything lives in God.

Amen

 

Requests

Let us open ourselves to the grace of God,

to the brokenness of our world,

and to the call to be agents of healing and recreation.

Where human greed has stripped the world of beauty and life,

and robbed people of dignity and subsistence,

We pray, O God, for a new vision of abundance,

and a new commitment to nurture the world that feeds us

and share with those who do not have.

Silence

 

Where human hatred has severed relationships,

and broken the connection that unites creation,

We pray, O God, for love to be renewed,

and compassion to draw us back into union.

Silence

 

Where human loneliness, weakness, sickness and grief,

and the suffering of our planet and its inhabitants

hide the signs of your life,

We pray, O God, for healing, comfort and strength

and for the courage to keep hoping in the renewed creation to come.

Silence

 

Where human lust for power and money has prioritised economic growth above eco-system survival and abundant life for all,

We pray, O God, for common-sense and clear thinking

and a new awareness, in ourselves, this department, and the world, that keeping the earth viable for life and civilisation must take precedent over the economy.

Silence

 

We pray particularly for the people working in this building for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. One of its responsibilities is to ‘tackle climate change’.  We pray for a new awakening of what this means and the moral courage to do what it takes for our country to lead the world away from climate chaos and towards the safe and beautiful future that is your desire.

We pray, O God, for your Spirit to invade this department and fill all those working there with wisdom, compassion and courage.

Silence

 

A time of open prayer.  Please speak out loud, or silently, your requests to God.

O God, restore our faith,

revive our hope,

rekindle our love,

and hear our prayer;

For we offer it in Christ’s name.

Amen

Song

  1. Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
    That saved a wretch like me!
    I once was lost, but now am found;
    Was blind, but now I see.
  1. ‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
    And grace my fears relieved;
    How precious did that grace appear
    The hour I first believed.
  1. Through many dangers, toils and snares,
    I have already come;
    ‘Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
    And grace will lead me home.
  1. When we’ve been here ten thousand years,
    Bright shining as the sun,
    We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
    Than when we’d first begun

Sending out

So now we go from this place back into the world,

to proclaim the saving message of God,

in word and action, in challenge and compassion,

to all creation.

And we go in the confidence that comes from knowing that

Christ’s limitless grace,

God’s infinite love,

and the Holy Spirit’s relentless companionship,

always encompass us,

and are always within us.

Amen.

 

From John van de Laar © Sacredise 2007

 

Happy Birthday Paris Talks Vigil

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To celebrate the first anniversary of the Paris talks, and the recent ratification of the Paris agreement by the UK Government, Christian Climate Action are holding a vigil to protest the lack of any meaningful action in response to the agreement, and to pray that our country will take the action required.

Monday 28th November, 9.30am

1 Victoria Street, London, SW1H 0ET

Please join us!

The Liturgy we will be praying is here.

Who we are

CCA Court 31.05.16a

Who we are:

Christian Climate Action is a community of Christians supporting each other in following Jesus Christ in the face of imminent and catastrophic anthropogenic climate change, in acts of non-violent direct action. We are based in the UK.

Below are some words we came up with at our meeting in June 2016 to describe what we are trying to do.  They are not set in stone, or ‘right’, simply an attempt to explain why we do what we do.

Purpose of CCA:

  1.  To demonstrate urgency and scale of climate crisis
  2.  To inspire Christians to act
  3.  To use our actions to speak to and challenge the wider environmental movement to move towards non-violent direct action.
  4.  To challenge all Christians to question their cooperation with the system in which we live – and to suggest to them that to be a Christian might mean non-compliance with ruling authorities.
  5.  To demonstrate that we are not living under a real democracy, but a type of corporate fascism.

The sort of thing we think:

  1.  We are called to be faithful, not successful.
  2.  But we try to be as successful as possible – catastrophe may only be averted by a movement of mass civil disobedience.
  3.  Our actions don’t have to be perfect.  They are all ‘experiments with truth’ (Gandhi)
  4.  We are ourselves part of the problem we are fighting. (‘We must contend against evil, even though we know that we are ourselves involved in the evil against which we contend.’ Reinhold Niebuhr). Our liturgies include a confession of this involvement.  Our actions, and any prison/fine, can be seen as an act of penance or paying the price for the sin we are all part of.
  5.  We must not mislead people by telling them that doing CCA actions will fix climate change.  Our comfort must not come from lies, but from the love of God and the resurrection – therefore we have to embrace crucifixion.
  6. We always try to be non-violent.  We like Turning the Tide’s non-violent characteristics listed at the bottom of this page.