The Minister's Letter

 

Many of you know that on Tuesday this week (8th October) I went to London to join the Extinction Rebellion protest. Many of you have been supportive, for which I am immensely grateful, and some of you have reservations, which I understand.  As I write the protest continues.

It has been quite a week.  As well as a long day protesting in London, I've had a lot to do.  I needed not to get arrested because I had a funeral the next day, and I've been busy organising another one.  There have been two Stewards Meetings in one day and a Church Council.  Sunday services have to be prepared for when I get back from holiday next week.

This morning I watched a video of the protesters at London City Airport yesterday. All sorts of people took part, including grandparents and parents of young children.  One mother spoke with tears in her eyes about her fear for her children aged 8 and 3 because of the enormous and immediate threat to our planet.  As I watched, I found myself crying too.

I went because the climate emergency we face is urgent, threatening the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world, but also ourselves . This emergency is not just about the Amazon forest but about us. I went because I have a one year old granddaughter now and I worry about her future.  What kind of world have we created for her and all our grandchildren?  So I went for Freya.

Christian faith is nothing if it does not put itself on the line for the sake of others. Jesus was prepared to be arrested, and it cost him his life.  I spent five hours in London and came home free.  Church without walls means getting stuck in, taking risks, and not depending on the same old things we have done for decades.  In London people saw my collar and had conversations with me about why I was there and what I believe.  People here in Malvern have seen me get involved, and they have expressed their appreciation. Waiting for people to come to us has failed us.  We have to take risks and get involved with where people are right now.  We have to get engaged in what really matters to people.

At least 13 Christian ministers were arrested by day two of the London Protest, and many other Christians too.  My contribution pales compared to that, but even I made a difference.  This morning I found myself crying, and I would suggest if something makes you feel so strongly that is where you should get stuck in.  Even if it is in a small way, make your faith count by engaging the world around you where it really matters.  Do it in Jesus name. Everything else is purely superficial.

With every blessing,

  Nigel