Why Operation Noah is Supporting the No Faith in Fossil Fuels Service and Pilgrimage on 21 April

By Ruth Jarman

At Operation Noah we are motivated by our faith, informed by the latest science and inspired by hope. It is for all these reasons that we, along with other Christian charities – including Tearfund, Christian Aid, CAFOD and Young Christian Climate Network – are supporting the No Faith in Fossil Fuels Service and Pilgrimage which will take place in London on Friday 21 April.

On 21 April, we will gather outside St John’s Church, Waterloo from 11am to pray and sing; after the service at 12 Noon, we will walk to Parliament and join The Big One protest, which will be family-friendly and is aiming to attract 100,000 people. 

Our faith motivates us to take action when we see injustice, because faith without deeds is dead (James 2:26). The science is irrefutable, and the need for action could not be clearer. 

The press release for last year’s IPCC report ended with, ‘Any further delay in concerted global action will miss a brief and rapidly closing window to secure a liveable future’, while in 2021, Fatih Birol, head of the International Energy Agency, said, ‘If governments are serious about the climate crisis, there can be no new investments in oil, gas and coal, from now – from this year.’ And yet we know that 20 large oil and gas companies – including Shell, BP, Total and ExxonMobil – plan to spend nearly $1 trillion on new oil and gas fields by 2030

Meanwhile, the UK Government is brushing off calls by its own independent advisors, the Climate Change Committee, to insulate our homes and is still considering requests for over a hundred new North Sea oil and gas fields, all of which are in violation of scientific warnings. Last year, the UK Government even greenlighted a new coal mine which, according to the chair of the Climate Change Committee, ‘is absolutely indefensible’. 

It’s hard to have hope knowing all of this.

However, we think the No Faith in Fossil Fuels Service and Pilgrimage gives us the opportunity to be hopeful. We urge you to take collective action with us, and to bring as many friends, family members and church members with you as you can. By coming together to pray and to call for climate leadership from the UK Government, we will become hope-inspired. 

One of Operation Noah’s trustees, Martin Poulsom, a Senior Lecturer in Theology at the University of Roehampton, says: 

‘The No Faith in Fossil Fuels Service and Pilgrimage offers us an opportunity for prayer that can strengthen our hope for change, and also bear witness to our faith, which calls us to prophetic action, motivated by God’s justice and righteousness.’ 

‘In this service and pilgrimage, we will publicly express our belief in a God who changes hearts, systems and institutions. At the same time, we will acknowledge that we ourselves need to change and to be agents of change.’ 

So what’s happening on Friday 21 April?

The No Faith in Fossil Fuels Service and Pilgrimage is happening on Friday 21 April.

  • From 11am: Gather in the garden at St John’s Church, Waterloo (or inside if wet) for music from Engage Worship and the Salvation Army 
  • 12 noon: Christian service 
  • 1pm: Pilgrimage to Parliament Square in Westminster (this will be step-free)
  • 2pm: Prayers for the government and blessing on The Big One protest 

The family-friendly protest continues over the weekend, 21-24 April, and ends each day at 6pm. Christian Climate Action is holding a prayer vigil throughout The Big One protest and is organising opportunities for public worship. Follow Christian Climate Action’s website for the latest schedule. You can also read up on the theology of climate protest here

We look forward to seeing you outside St John’s Church, Waterloo from 11am on 21 April!

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