THE TIME IS NOW!
OUR CLIMATE IS IN OUR HANDS…
“The Time is NOW” mass lobby of M.P.’s at Westminster on 26th June was organised by The Climate Coalition and Greener UK – two confederations of organisations, that include CAFOD and which represent millions of people across the UK.
From surfers to scientists, bird watchers to beekeepers, everyone has a stake in the state of our environment. No one is more aware of this than Pope Francis, who in his Laudato ‘Si encyclical letter, calls us all to action defending and promoting the health of God’s creation.
On arriving at Westminster our day began with Interfaith addresses from the leaders of several faiths: Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Buddhist, expressing their concerns for the future of our planet. Later, Bishop Arnold pointed to the unanimity of their aspirations. Outstanding amongst the speakers was a Quaker, a young girl supporting Greta Thunberg in her School Strike for action on Climate change, who pleaded passionately for us all to commit to caring for “our common home”.
From there, Bishop John Arnold led us out to lobby our respective MPs. Nigel Evans was not available but he had arranged for two of his researchers, both from the Ribble Valley, to speak with his constituents. We discussed a variety of issues – ranging from fracking and renewable energy to solar panels on new builds. We gave them clear requests to hand to Nigel Evans, requesting that he put out a statement on them and that he arranges to meet us in the Ribble Valley. We await his response.
After relaxing in the sunshine on the Green, with coffee and free ice cream, the day concluded with a CAFOD Mass at Church House led by Bishop Arnold and concelebrated with five other priests. At the end Jose Batista, a land rights lawyer working for the Pastoral Land Commission in Maraba, Brazil, made a passionate plea to save the rainforest, the lungs of the earth. The Mass was both emotional and inspiring. It was a privilege to be there.
It was a long day but to see people of all ages and organisations, and especially the many young people voicing their hopes for the future, it was worth every minute!
Remember, the dinosaurs also thought they had time!
THE CAFOD GROUP