Reflecting on climate action

by Guest Contributor

Hannah Lonergan, our Faith in Action volunteer, shares her heartfelt experience representing the Columbans at the 'No Faith in Fossil Fuels' vigil, a call for urgent climate action.

Jane Lavery, Sr. Kate Midgley and Fr. Martin Poulsom at ‘No Faith in Fossil Fuels’ vigil
Jane Lavery, Sr. Kate Midgley and Fr. Martin Poulsom at ‘No Faith in Fossil Fuels’ vigil

Last Wednesday, Jane Lavery, Fr. Kevin McDonagh, Sr. Kate Midgley and I represented the Columbans at the beginning of the ‘No Faith in Fossil Fuels’ vigil: an event organised by Christian Climate Action, and supported by various other organisations, including CAFOD and Operation Noah. It involves a 10-day long, continuous vigil held outside Parliament, calling on the Government to deal with the climate crisis with the urgency that it requires; this includes a ban on new UK-based fossil fuel projects, making the UK’s biggest polluters pay for climate action, delivering upon the UK’s international pledges, and paying into the UN’s Loss and Damage Fund.

The day began with an inclusive, ecumenical service held at St. John’s Church in Waterloo – as a group, we reflected upon the environmental issues faced today, under the themes of lament, longing and love. I was privileged to read Psalm 42 during the service – the contrast of hope and despair present in this reading reflects what I believe many people feel about the climate crisis currently. The service was supported by poignant music, provided by Resound Worship and the Salvation Army Band, upon these same themes. A Taizé chant – ‘Within our Darkest Night’ was sung as a collective, as we transitioned into receiving ashes.

After receiving ashes outside of the church, we moved towards Parliament Square, to begin the vigil. We were invited to reflect upon the importance of what we were doing, and the reason for us gathering together. I felt a great sense of togetherness being stood with a group of like-minded people, calling on the government; there was also a sense of power in being stood outside the building of people who are responsible for taking the action that we were calling for.

It was very moving to come together on Ash Wednesday, as a community of Christians, to reflect, pray, and call for action. The vigil continues now, until 24th February, when a prayerful space is being held outside Parliament, which welcomes people to join and pray.

Join us at the vigil

Columban Justice, Peace and Ecology Team will be at the vigil 5-11pm on Wednesday 21 February. Click the link below to know more.

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