Filipino priest to call for church action on climate change at Greenbelt

By agency reporter
July 31, 2015

A Filipino priest who witnessed the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan is a guest speaker at this year’s Greenbelt Festival.

Father Herbert Fadriguela will speak at the Christian Aid venue on site about the role his church in the Philippines played following the storm which killed more than 6000 people in 2013. His key message will be that the global church must step up to the role it can play in helping tackle climate change.

He said: “In the Philippines our church developed the FAITH project, which stood for Food Always In The Home. Most farmers in my parish are tenant farmers with their landlord dictating what crops they can grow. But back in their own home gardens they are free to be part of the FAITH organic farming system.

“This approach not only helps mitigate the risks of climate change by cutting out synthetic fertilisers and promotes carbon storage by increasing the organic content of the soil. It also encourages biodiversity and with a diversified crop local people are more resilient to cope with future food shortages.

“We do not just do things for the poor, we do things with the poor. This was not just about providing food for the poor, but about empowering the marginalised and giving them dignity and respect.”

Fr Fadriguela will be joined at this year’s festival by fellow cleric Canon Giles Fraser, Dr Paula Gooder and Katharine Welby-Roberts, the daughter of the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. Music will be provided by the likes of the Polyphonic Spree, Grace Petrie and Duke Special and there will be the usual mix of faith, arts and social justice in action.

Other attractions at the Christian Aid venue include music by Andy Flannagan on the Friday evening, reflections on social justice with Gogglebox’s the Rev Kate Bottley and an exclusive performance by theatre group Riding Lights before they take their climate change inspired Baked Alaska show on tour around the UK.

Greenbelt takes place between August 28 to 31 at Boughton House near Kettering in Northamptonshire. Tickets are available from www.greenbelt.org.uk.

* Christian Aid http://www.christianaid.org.uk/index.aspx

[Ekk/4]

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