Church leaders created Extinction Rebellion ‘faith bridge’ across the Thames

Church leaders occupied Lambeth Bridge in Westminster as part of the Extinction Rebellion’s ‘International Rebellion’ that has begun this week.

Members of Christian Climate Action closed the bridge to car traffic as part of similar protests in central London and in 60 cities around the world, to force the Government to take swifter action on climate change.

Rev Jon Swales, 41, is Mission Priest at the Church of England’s Lighthouse Church in Leeds and Associate Faculty at St Hild Theological Centre. He said:

“The science is clear. Unless we radically change the way we live in the world we will face the full force of climate catastrophe. I want to play my part in raising the alarm for the sake of the world’s most vulnerable and the next generation, and also contribute to a renewed imagination of future possibilities.”

Father Martin Newell, 52, catholic priest from Birmingham added:

“I am here to help raise the alarm, to call for a profound ecological conversion. The life of God’s creation is under threat, especially the lives of God’s poor. I am here to help protect our common home, our mother, our sister which is among the most abused of our neighbours, as Pope Francis has said.”

Among the activities planned for the ‘faith bridge’ this week include baptisms, Taize services, liturgical workshop and foot washing as well as a prayer vigil with development charities Christian Aid, Tearfund and Cafod.

Also on the bridge is Phil Kingston, 83, a retired parole officer from Bristol, who took part in the action on Thursday using a fire engine to spray fake blood outside the Treasury to highlight how the UK Government is directly funding fossil fuel expansion around the world which is driving climate breakdown.

He said:

“I fight with all my being for my four grandchildren in this situation of existential danger. And I am a Christian who cares for the Earth as God’s Creation; and for the world’s poorest peoples whose experience of injustice draws a special love from God.”

All images credited to: Christian Climate Action

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