Christian environmentalists took part in their annual Climate Change March in central London on Saturday 4 December 2010, despite the unusually early snow and ice.
As in previous years, Christian Ecology Link held a church service as part of the Campaign against Climate Change proceedings – this time in the Church of the Annunciation in Bryanston Street, Marble Arch in the heart of London’s West End.
Young and old attended the service, where prayers were held for the United Nations climate conference in Cancun, Mexico; for the UK Government to play its part in achieving zero carbon emissions; for encouragement for local sustainable community projects; and for action to halt extinction of species in this year of biodiversity.
The key speaker was Edward Echlin, author and ecological theologian, who spoke about the need for Christians to be both active and hopeful.
“We’re here to be humbly prophetic. Humble because we are of the earth, right but not self-righteous. [In] prophetic [terms], we challenge the assumptions of China, India, America and the EU, of infinite economic growth on a finite planet,” said Echlin.
He continued: “After Copenhagen and Cancun people need hope. As humbly prophetic we offer seeds of hope...Advent is a time of hope. We offer hope, we sow and plant, and [we try to be] negative feedback [stablilsing climate change]. In the words of our closing hymn, ‘We’ve work to do, me and you’.”
Worshippers left the service to join the other marchers in Hyde Park where they formed a giant “2030” figure – the date by which the UK could achieve zero net carbon emissions, with careful planning, good leadership and strong national policy for clean energy and green jobs.
Thousands of Climate Change campaigners and activists then held a good-natured march through the streets to a rally at Parliament Square, where the assembled crowd was addressed by Caroline Lucas of the Green Party, Michael Meacher MP, Phil Thornhill of the Climate Campaign, and others.
One marcher commented: “It was very tiring, but wonderful to see so many supporters on the streets...people not involved in the march were applauding us as we walked by, and that felt good.”
Meanwhile, in Colombia, 1.5 million people have been made homeless by record torrential rain; 70,000 have also been made homeless in Venezuela, towns in Queensland, Australia have been cut off by widespread flooding and Albania has been hit by the worst floods in living memory.
More on Christian Ecology Link (CEL): http://www.christian-ecology.org.uk