Christian Climate Action and The Big One

Christian Climate Action and The Big One

17 April 2023 by Deborah Colvin

The “Big One” is almost upon us.

Many thousands of people and over 70 charities will support this 4-day act of public witness outside parliament on 21-24 April, demanding that truth be told and meaningful action taken in response to the climate and ecological catastrophe we all face.

Christian Climate Action (CCA) will be there throughout the event, on the corner of Little Sanctuary and Broad Sanctuary, witnessing through prayer, pilgrimage, outreach and action.

There will be regular acts of worship and everyone is very welcome to join in at any point during the 4 days.

Who are Christian Climate Action?

CCA was formed about 10 years ago, well before Extinction Rebellion and other direct action groups, although these days CCA is sometimes known as ‘the Christians in XR’. Our website states:

We are a community of Christians supporting each other to take meaningful action in the face of imminent and catastrophic anthropogenic climate breakdown.

We are inspired by Jesus Christ and guided by the Holy Spirit.

Following the example of social justice movements of the past, we carry out acts of public witness, nonviolent protest and civil disobedience to urge those in power to make the changes needed.’

Why We Do What We Do: A prophetic response

Planet earth is careening into radically new climatic territory.

The last time atmospheric carbon dioxide levels were this high, our ancestors were just considering descending from the treetops. This is a Kairos moment for us, the human community alive today.

For the subset of the human community (including much of the Christian west) that has brought us to this moment through rampant burning of fossil fuels and unjust colonisation of earth’s resources, this moment has huge moral resonance.

Such a moment calls for a prophetic response.

Christian Climate Action consciously invites Christians to participate in this prophetic response.

There are Those…

CCA is a broad church welcoming diverse voices and experience.

There are those whose faith empowers them to confront injustice by putting their bodies in the way of arrest again and again, including going to prison if that is what is required.

There are those who repeatedly speak out publicly and disruptively, challenging hierarchies and vested interest.

Jesus was not a whisperer…

He met people and spoke directly and frankly…

…he spoke only truth to others and to those in power.

Samuel Logan Brengle

There are those for whom public liturgy, lament, vigil, teaching and prayer on the streets is a powerful form of resistance, and those for whom direct action IS public prayer.

There are those (many) who give whole-hearted, emotional, financial, and practical support behind the scenes.

Done with Powerlessness

Holly says:

‘I helped set up Christian Climate Action a decade ago because I was desperate.

But I have stayed involved in Christian Climate Action because I’ve seen non-violent protest working first-hand. I’m done with feeling hopeless and powerless.

Our protests have contributed to the Church of England committing to net zero by 2030. I have seen banks pledging to not invest in new fossil fuel projects. More and more dioceses are divesting from fossil fuels. The UK Government is offering an extra £1billion to insulate homes across the country. And so much more.’

You can hear other voices on the CCA website speak movingly of the need for spiritual awakening, the dishonesty of preaching justice without challenging the forces behind climate breakdown, the pain of living in a time when we know as a society what needs to be done but seem unable to find the moral backbone or political will required.

Here there is deep reflection on the transformative nature of contemplative prayer, on humility and the willingness to surrender.

As Jonathan says:

‘Sitting reminds me that if I want to change the way the world is, and to confront the principalities and powers at work in our death dealing economic system, I need to be transformed too.

So I sit.’

Come as you are

However despairing or hopeful or angry you feel about the climate crisis, or uncertain about direct action, come along to The Big One on 21-24 April to meet some CCA people in a family friendly, accessible, creative and engaging environment.

You might be surprised.

You’ll certainly be welcome.

Deborah Colvin

Deborah Colvin

Deborah has a science background and has worked on initiatives in environmental education for 35 years. She is part of the Earth Justice team at St James's Piccadilly, supports the work of Eco Church and A Rocha UK, and is a member of the Diocesan Creation Care Advisory Group.

View all posts by Deborah Colvin

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