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Date posted: 22 September 2014
A day of sore feet and blessings – Jean Leston reflects on the biggest global climate march in history.
Imagine a tree in the middle of a London park (Victoria Embankment Gardens to be precise), absolutely covered in colourful decorations as though it was Christmas. Only these weren’t baubles but heartfelt pleas, written on labels and tied to the branches, for government to take climate action—for the love of what is most precious to each of us.
A multi-faith gathering was held next to this special tree and we read out Desmond Tutu’s lovely prayer about ‘greed having established an economy that is destroying the web of life’. Those words put purpose in our step as we joined 40,000 people in bright sunshine to march onto Westminster.
And what a carnival atmosphere! There were drummers, singers, giant animals and carbon bubbles—with different groups and people of all ages, including lots of young children in pushchairs representing the future generations that will inherit dangerous levels of global warming if we don’t take action now. In addition to Bright Now posters, there were others calling for fossil fuel divestment as well as a stop to fracking and coal burning, plus no more tax breaks for oil and gas companies. Just in case government didn’t hear us, we raised our voices and made an almighty racket outside of Downing Street and the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC).
What a blessing to care for God’s precious creation as part of our everyday discipleship. And what fun it is to have a big street party while following our hearts!
You have called us to be keepers of your Earth;
Through greed, we have established an economy that destroys the web of life.
We have changed our climate and drown in despair.
Let oceans of justice flow,
May we learn to sustain and renew the Life of our Mother, Earth
We pray for our leaders, custodians of Mother Earth; as they gather in New York City at the climate talks
May they negotiate with wisdom and fairness,
May they act with compassion and courage, and lead us in the path of justice for the sake of our children and our children’s children.