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Clergy Join Climate Protest

by Michael Ford last modified 16 Oct, 2019 01:50 PM

A small number of clergy from our Diocese joined the protesters who headed to London last Monday to take part in Extinction Rebellion's peaceful protest highlighting the present climate crisis.

They joined with dozens of other Christians to peacefully protest and pray on Lambeth Bridge.

Among them were the Revd Hilary Bond, Curate in the Lytchetts and Upton and Children’s Worker for the Parish of Wareham, and Revd Canon Jonathan Herbert, Chaplain to Gypsies and Travellers and member of Hilfield Friary Community.

Jonathan said:

"I’ve spent 20 years writing letters to my MP, taking part in mass lobbies of Parliament about the deadly effects of climate change, particularly upon the poorest people in our world. Nothing seems to have changed, in spite of the overwhelming scientific evidence, which now says we have just 12 years to fix things.

"So I felt called to take to the streets and peacefully demonstrate, knowing I might be arrested."

Hilary added:

"I realised that for me writing letters and signing petitions was no longer enough. I imagined my children one day saying to me ‘but you knew; why didn’t you do something?’ And I found I knew exactly what I had to do."

Both Jonathan and Hilary were among the vast number of protestors arrested by the police. They were later released without charge and have returned to the Diocese.

Commenting on his arrest, Jonathan said:

"We were inspired by the many Christians, people of other faiths and none, who also took to the streets. Neither of us took the decision to be arrested lightly, but agreed that sometimes the call of God to stand for justice for the suffering peoples of our world, and God’s creation, can lead to civil disobedience."

Hilary reflected:

"When the door of my police cell clanged shut, I knelt and prayed and was filled with an overwhelming sense of thankfulness and peace, powerfully aware of God’s presence in that place."

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