We had a really great day in London at the Speak Up for the Love Of… mass lobby on climate change! Over 10,000 people, gathered in London to speak to their MPs about climate change and its devastating impact. CAFOD supporters were present from every diocese in England and Wales, including over 20 from our own.
We began the day with an inspiring ecumenical service at the Emmanuel Centre, where we heard from CAFOD’s Michel Monginda about the impact of climate change in Niger, and from the Archbishop of Salisbury Nicholas Holtam, who said that climate change is a concern for all faiths and for all humanity and mentioned the eagerly-anticipated encyclical from Pope Francis (“Laudato si’: on the care of our common home”)
Nearly half of all MPs were lobbied on the day, which is a fantastic result. In our diocese, the MPs for Daventry and Northampton South were present among others.
Maggie and Bruce Nichols travelled from Daventry and waited over 2 hours to see their MP Chris Heaton-Harris. Maggie said: “I came to the lobby to meet my MP and give him information on behalf of his constituents so that he knows our concerns locally and abroad.” Alban Macdonald from Sandy added, “I was inspired to come to influence my MP, Alistair Burt, and encourage him to do something personally that will show his commitment to positive action on climate change. My message to MPs and political leaders is to be our role models.”
The day ended with a rally in Millbank, where were heard from Olympic rower Andrew Hodge and actress Sally Hawkins, among others.
It was a really great day overall and we will have to keep the pressure on our politicians in the upcoming months to ensure a good outcome at the upcoming UN conference in Paris in December. A lot is planned for the months ahead so watch this space especially now that CAFOD has now joined the Global Catholic Climate Movement. We are promoting a short petition letter to David Cameron and world leaders, to be delivered at the end of November ahead of the climate summit. Please do sign the petition.
A huge thanks to everyone who came along, to all those who couldn’t come but have written to their MP and/or will be lobbying them at local surgeries and to all those who have been praying for the success of the event – it’s been great to have such tremendous support!