CHURCH and charity leaders are joining climate campaigners for the start of a 10-day climate justice prayer vigil outside the Houses of Parliament.

The event – which will run around-the-clock from February 14-24 – has been organised by a coalition of charities including A Rocha UK, Christian Aid, Christian Climate Action, Green Christian, Operation Noah, the Salvation Army and Tearfund.

Starting on Ash Wednesday, people from across the UK will be meeting up at Westminster – while others hold vigils in their homes and churches. The initiative has been given support from church and charity leaders around the country.

Bishop Mike Royal, General Secretary of Churches Together in England, and Ruth Valerio, Global Advocacy and Influencing Director at Tearfund, will be speaking at the 14 February opening service, from 11.30am-1.30pm, at St John’s Church, Waterloo.

Christian Aid Campaigns and Organising Officer, Jessica Hall, explained: “As the climate crisis wreaks havoc in our world, we are gathering in vigil, to pray for our global neighbours, for the planet and for bold climate action from the UK Government. We hope people will join us, whether in London or elsewhere and call on the Government to make the UK’s biggest polluters pay for climate action; deliver and build on the UK’s international climate finance pledges as well as pay into the UN’s Loss & Damage Fund; and ban new UK-based fossil fuel projects.”

People will be praying 24 hours a day, for 10 days, outside Parliament to highlight the call for politicians to Make Polluters Pay. Those praying at church are also encouraged to invite their MP to a meeting or service.

Jessica added: “At COP28, while we celebrated the Loss and Damage Fund becoming operational with support pledged for climate vulnerable countries, the UK’s financial commitments were well below what is possible, and came from existing climate funds. Meanwhile UK-based fossil fuel companies are raking in billions of pounds a year. We believe polluters should pay for the damage they’re causing.”

* Anyone who wants to take part can register for a slot at Westminster. Sign up here.

* Find out more and get the resources to take part here.

Source: Christian Aid