Environment activists gather for eco-vigils near Westminster

By staff writers
17 May 2010

Britain’s new coalition government “needs to be reminded that there is no economy and there are no jobs on a dead planet”, says Christian Ecology Link – which works with churches and church groups to promote environmental action and awareness.

“Fixing the budget deficit must be done within a new green economy,” said CEL trustee Barbara Echlin, ahead of a service and vigil in London on Saturday and Sunday 15 and 16 May 2010.

Ruth Jarman, another Christian Ecology Link (http://www.christian-ecology.org.uk/) spokesperson, added: “Governments lost the plot at last year’s Copenhagen summit, and ‘climate sceptics’ have been getting all the airtime recently, despite their feeble assertions.”

“From the general election campaign we’ve just had you’d think that the problem of dangerous climate change had gone away. But it hasn’t. It’s vital to remember the truth - that we’re still in trouble,” she continued.

“We are praying that the new government makes climate change a top priority and reminding them that they must,” said Ms Jarman.

Christian Ecology Link held a reflective service in St Martin-in-the-Fields Anglican Church at 11pm on Saturday, as part of an all night climate vigil.

The Rev Chris Brice led the service. The speaker was Mark Dowd of the Operation Noah churches’ environmental coalition and presenter of Channel 4 television's ‘God is Green’ documentary.

He declared: “In the gospels, Jesus asks his disciples ‘Could you not stay awake with me one hour?’ The planet, which is God’s gift, needs us to stay awake now, to keep the flame of witness burning after Copenhagen and after the election.”

At midnight, many from the congregation joined the Campaign against Climate Change (CaCC) candlelit procession from Trafalgar Square, down Whitehall to Old Palace Yard, near the Houses of Parliament.

After speeches the vigils began – CaCC’s Dawn Zero Carbon vigil in Old Palace Yard and St Jude’s Community Centre, and a meditative prayer vigil in Lambeth Methodist Mission.

[Ekk/3]

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