Dover Prayer Service & Westminster Cathedral Mass for World Day of Migrants and Refugees

Mass at Westminster Cathedral, 26 September, 5:30-6:30pm

Bishop Paul McAleenan

The annual International Mass on the World Day of Migrants and Refugees will be celebrated by Bishop Paul McAleenan at Westminster Cathedral, Victoria St, London SW1P 1LT, UK.

All are welcome to attend in person or via the Cathedral livestream.

Lord Deben speaking tonight at Holy Apostles, Pimlico Catholicism, COP26 and Climate

Lord Deben

Lord Deben

The Rt Hon Lord Deben (John Selwyn Gummer), will be speaking on Catholicism, COP 26 and the Climate this Monday, 6 September, at Holy Apostles Parish, Winchester Street, Pimlico, London SW1V 4LY. A former MP, now member of the House of Lords, Lord Deben is Chairman of the UK’s independent Committee on Climate Change.

The talk begins at 7.15pm. Admission Free. All welcome.


Welcome to the Season of Creation!

Amidst all our current difficulties and the challenges that face us at the start of this new academic year, we hope you will be able to take some time to celebrate and enjoy the wonderous gift to us that is God’s creation – our planet, all its treasures, plants, animals, each other and life itself…

This month’s newsletter includes links to resources and events that we hope will be helpful during this Season, as well as the usual Diary Dates for many other justice activities in the coming term. 

Westminster Cathedral YCCN reflection on ‘Ecological Conversion’

Ecumenical Climate Prayer Service in the Lady Chapel, Westminster Cathedral, 6th August 2021

Source: Independent Catholic News

Chris Carling gave this reflection during the Young Christian Climate Network relay walkers service in Westminster Cathedral on Friday:

Daniel 3:57-81, 88-89

Song of the Three Young Men in the Furnace

That Canticle from Daniel sums up how God calls us to cooperate with creation to bless the Lord, to give glory and eternal praise to him. This is what God meant when in Genesis he gave dominion over the earth – not that we dominate or destroy the planet but that we care for creation, we till this earth.

However, humanity has sinned, we have turned away from God and we need conversion; ecological conversion. Like our constant spiritual conversion, this is a process not an event, it will last a lifetime. And it is always the work of the Holy Spirit.

In Romans 5:20 we are told ‘where sin increased, grace overflowed all the more’. Right now humanity’s sin against creation and against our creator is indeed increasing. The canticle proclaims ‘Ice and Snow, bless the Lord’ yet we are melting the ice caps and the glaciers retreat. ‘Seas and Rivers, bless the Lord’, yet we fill the waters with plastic. ‘Everything that grows on earth, bless the Lord’ and we cut down the rainforests. Our sin is increasing, but we do not despair because we are Christian and we have hope. We know that grace will overflow.

Grace is indeed already overflowing in this relay and in the YCCN. Young people filled with the Holy Spirit coming together at this ‘decade defining’ moment to share the call to care for creation. Already 300 miles in, they have touched hundreds of communities by their presence, and countless more by their prayer. Grace is overflowing.

That same grace is overflowing in the young Catholics represented here from CAFOD, CARITAS, Jesuit Missions and others. Knowing, like the YCCN, that climate change affects the world’s poorest, they are helping those most affected by the current crisis to take action. CAFOD are doing excellent work lobbying parliament: already 100 MPs have met with Catholic parishes and Christian groups through their ‘parliament in your parish’ initiative. They are also running key petitions to our Prime Minister and Chancellor. Jesuit Missions are taking practical action such as by supporting reforestation efforts by communities in Madagascar. The Holy Spirit is moving in these groups as they respond to the call for ecological conversion.

Our Pope, at 84 may not be young, but he is a wise prophet on this question. This man filled with the Holy Spirit is reaching millions. His encyclical, Laudato Si’ – Praise Be – a letter to the whole world, written six years ago, is becoming ever more relevant by the day. This Diocese of Westminster has heard his call and has just committed to seeking carbon neutrality by 2030. We know the Pope’s voice matters: at COP 21 his words moved nations and were key to the agreement there. We pray, his health permitting, he can come to Glasgow and move nations again.

Because this call to ecological conversion needs to spread. Thinking of our government, it is perhaps easy to despair; new oil fields being considered off the Shetlands, a second private jet for ministers. Yet there is hope, hope in this conference in Glasgow, hope that grace will overflow. Our government, our Prime Minister -married in this very chapel a few months ago- the delegates, we pray they are filled with the Holy Spirit at COP and hear the call to ecological conversion.

Conversion too is a theme on this great Feast of the Transfiguration. I resonate especially with St Peter who, on seeing our Lord transfigured ‘brilliantly white’ before him on the mountain turned to Jesus and said: ‘Rabbi … it is wonderful for us to be here; so let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses, one for Elijah’. It seems he wanted to stay in the presence of our transfigured Lord.

It too is wonderful for us to see the Lord transfigured on this relay. To see him transfigured in each other, hope transfigured in young Christians responding to the call for ecological conversion. For those lucky enough to have taken this relay into the city or who will take it out again, it is wonderful to see our Lord transfigured in creation. I think of the beauty of Devon and Cornwall and the walkers who will cross the Pennines before eventually reaching the Northumberland Coast. It is indeed wonderful to be here with our transfigured Lord.

However like St Peter, we too must come down from the mountain. He went on to experience his own journey of conversion. Denying our Lord three times during the passion, before experiencing the grace and mercy of the resurrection. He lived his vocation taking the Gospel, the Good news, the message of conversion to the ends of his world, to Antioch and Rome.

As we come away from this relay, how will we respond to the call to spread the message of ecological conversion? How will we cooperate with creation to give glory and eternal praise to God? As humanity’s sin against creation and against our creator increases, how will grace overflow in us?

Chris Carling is a Communications Volunteer with Westminster Justice and Peace Commission. He has recently completed a European Social and Political Studies BA at University College London.


Ecumenical Climate Service at Westminster Cathedral welcomes COP26 walkers

Young climate campaigners bring message to London on way to COP26 

YCCN Relay welcomed to Diocese with Climate Prayer Service at Westminster Cathedral

YCCN Relay outside Westminster Cathedral – 6th August 2021

Source: Ellen Teague, Independent Catholic News

Members of the Young Christian Climate Network (YCCN), on pilgrimage from June’s G7 in Cornwall to November’s COP26 in Glasgow, had a great welcome from churches in and around London while passing through these past few days. Services and meetings at St Paul’s Cathedral – where they were greeted by Anglican Bishop John Sentamu – St John’s Waterloo, Lambeth Palace, Wesley’s Chapel, St Martin in the Fields and St James Piccadilly included a gathering for action, prayer, and reflection in Westminster Cathedral.

As around 100 people gathered in the piazza of Westminster Cathedral on Friday afternoon, waiting to go in, the line ups for photos demonstrated both Catholic and ecumenical support for the pilgrimage. Four Westminster Diocesan priests attended, including the current Chair of Westminster Justice and Peace, Fr Dominic Robinson SJ, and former one, Fr Joe Ryan. Alongside the YCCN banners there was Westminster Justice and Peace, CAFOD, Caritas, Pax Christi, Jesuit Mission, Columban JPIC, and ARocha. “What do we want? Climate justice!” echoed round Victoria.

When we walked down to the Lady Chapel we saw that the YCCN boat had been set up on the altar. The relay is accompanied along the whole route by this boat whose sail bears fabrics from climate threatened places – pointing to the hundreds of millions of people whose lives are threatened by sea level rise, cyclones, and other climate related disasters. It sat well alongside the chapel’s decoration where above the altar is the Tree of Life (the Cross) and from it gushes fountains of living water; its branches produce vines and refuge for birds and other living creatures.

Colette Joyce of Westminster Justice and Peace welcomed the congregation, followed by testimonies from Florence, Sophie and Naomi, three of the walkers. They explained the reasons for the relay. Pilgrims are calling on the government to meet and exceed their own climate finance commitments, reinstate the original aid budget and to cancel the debts of poor countries. The pilgrims also seek to raise awareness of COP26 and urged participants to spread the word “to look out for us and we would like as many people to join us as possible”. They were clapped as they stepped down amidst an animated and joyful spirit in the very chapel where Prime Minister Boris Johnson – the primary target for climate lobbying – was married at the end of May.

After a prayer of thanks, taken from the song of the three young men in the furnace in the Book of Daniel, a reflection on “ecological conversion” was given by Chris Carling, a student and Westminster Justice and Peace volunteer. He felt the ecological conversion called for in Laudati Si’ is a process that lasts a lifetime. Despite such challenges as the melting ice caps and polluting the oceans with plastic, “grace will overflow with YCCN”. Then a reflection from Pope Francis calling on each person to “be a guardian of our common home,” and protect all God’s creation, including other species.

We said together the final prayer from CAFOD:

“Inspire us to care for the environment:

to help rebuild lives and communities;

to share in the griefs and anxieties, joys and hopes of all your people,

so that all your creation may flourish. Amen.

The pilgrimage has been very successful in drawing attention to God’s presence in the world, particularly to people and places which are the first victims of the climate crisis. Anglican ordinand Hannah Malcom based her Saturday morning Radio 4 Thought for the Day reflection on it.

The young people have travelled through Truro, Exeter, Bristol, Reading and London, being received enthusiastically and offered hospitality by churches of all denominations, and are now heading north towards Glasgow.

Colette Joyce rounded off the service by telling the pilgrims, “you are doing a tremendous job and we will follow you all the way.” More clapping!


YCCN Climate Relay Arrives in London

YCCN Relay outside Buckingham Palace 6 August 2021

Source: Independent Catholic News

Around 100 Young Christian Climate Network relay walkers arrived in London last Wednesday on their way from Cornwall to Glasgow for COP26. They were welcomed by faith communities – and accompanied on their trek – as they stopped for ecumenical services and actions across the capital.

Their first service of prayer for climate justice was held at the Silver Eco Church, St Paul’s Clapham, and included a talk from a local YCCN member; followed by a meal and celebration in the churchyard.

Next morning they walked to Lambeth Palace where they stopped for refreshments and a tour of the gardens. From there they went on to St Paul’s Cathedral, where they were welcomed by Archbishop John Sentamu and took part in a vigil and photo call with Christian Aid.

On Friday they gathered in Arrupe Hall in Farm Street Church for lunch and then prayers and a blessing from parish priest Fr Dominican Robinson SJ in the church, before they set off through the parks for a picture op with CAFOD partners outside Buckingham Palace.

From here they walked to Westminster Cathedral where they were welcomed and joined by more supporters, for an Ecumenical service in the Lady Chapel. Among the congregation, were Pax Christi members who had been holding a Hiroshima Day vigil in the Piazza earlier in the day.

That evening the YCCN walkers went to St Andrew’s Church Short Street London SE1 where they from Hannah Eves about YCCN’s plans for COP26 and their work on climate justice, and from Canon Giles Goddard.

On Saturday morning the group attended Morning Prayer in Wesley’s Chapel and Leysian Mission in City Road followed by tea and cakes – Watch the service here:

On Sunday morning the walkers attended a climate-themed service at St Martin-in-the-Fields, in Trafalgar Square. Lunch was a picnic at St James’ Church Piccadilly.

The new week begins on Monday with 9am prayers at All Hallows by the Tower Church, Byward Street. All are welcome to joined the walkers as they pray for a good outcome to the talks in Glasgow, and for urgent action to combat climate change and safeguard the earth.

St James, Muswell Hill will be the last stop in London for the YCCN team before they set off for Oxford. All are welcome to join them for a climate themed service at 6pm with Wave Church. Wave Church is an inclusive space where people with and without learning disabilities can worship together. It will be inclusive informal and creative. Expect singing with Makaton signing and Bible teaching using pictures and games.

Hundreds of young people are joining the YCCN relay walk to Glasgow – either for a single leg or for a few days. If you’d like to get involved or follow them as they continue their trek to Glasgow for COP26, visit their website here:

Diocese of Westminster welcomes the YCCN Relay Today

The YCCN Relay on the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral yesterday

Two events are beings hosted on behalf of the Diocese of Westminster in Central London on 6th August to welcome the Young Christian Climate Network (YCCN) Relay, which is travelling from the G7 in Cornwall to COP26 in Glasgow.

Firstly, there is a vegan lunch at Farm Street Church, Mayfair, at 1pm, followed by a walk to Westminster Cathedral and an Ecumenical Climate Prayer Service at the Cathedral at 3.30pm. There is still time to join in!

Friday 6th August, 1.00-3.30pm : YCCN Climate Relay  Lunch at Farm Street and Walk to Westminster Cathedral –

Friday 6th August 3.30-4.00pm: Ecumenical Climate Prayer Service at Westminster Cathedral Welcoming the YCCN Relay –

There is no need to sign up but it helps us to keep a record of numbers! Thank you.

YCCN Relay – Residency in London 3-9 August 2021

Visit for full details and to sign up and join in!

The Young Christian Climate Network Relay, walking from the G7 in Cornwall to COP26 in Glasgow for climate justice, reaches London today. There is still time to decide to join in with one or more or the events taking place in the capital during the Relay Residency in London from 4th-9th August. Follow the links for full details. We’d love to see you!

Westminster Justice and Peace E-Bulletin August 2021

Summer of Climate Justice Part 2:

1) The Diocese of Westminster has published a commitment to do its utmost to become carbon neutral by 2030 in its parishes and curial buildings. It has also expressed its commitment to working with schools to encourage them to follow the same path.

The Diocesan plan focuses on 4 pillars:

i) Clean Energy Sources – purchasing gas and electricity from green suppliers.
ii) Investment Policy – promoting a path to decarbonisation.
iii) Reducing Carbon Emissions – from energy usage in parishes and diocesan buildings.
iv) Generating Clean Energy.

The announcement, made on 26th July 2021, is accompanied by more detail on the website here:

and a short, six-minute video from Cardinal Vincent encouraging every parish, school and household to play their part:

2) We welcome the Young Christian Climate Network (YCCN) Relay to Westminster Cathedral on Friday 6th August 2021 for a Climate Prayer Service at 3.30pm.

The service is preceded by lunch and a blessing at Farm Street Church, Mayfair, at 1pm, followed by a walk to Westminster Cathedral as part of the Relay. The route will take us through Berkeley Square, Green Park, St James Park and past Buckingham Place as a witness to climate justice and a call for action to our political and business leaders ahead of the G7 in Glasgow in November. All welcome to join us and show your support. Sign up with Eventbrite to help us know numbers in advance:

Friday 6 August, 1.00-3.30pm: YCCN Climate Relay Lunch at Farm Street and Walk to Westminster Cathedral
Book at:

Friday 6 August, 3.30-4.00pm: Ecumenical Climate Prayer Service at Westminster Cathedral Welcoming the YCCN Relay
Book at:

3) 200 activists gathered at the Annual Justice & Peace Conference at the Hayes in Swanwick, Derbyshire, for discussion and reflection on the theme ‘Moment of Truth: Action for Life on Earth.’  A strong contingent of around 20 participants took part from the Diocese of Westminster. Read the reports here:

Diocese of Westminster participants at the NJPN Annual Conference 2021, Action for Life on Earth

4) The Global Catholic Climate Movement has changed its name to: Laudato Si’ Movement

“[The] name now is not a corporate label; it is a prayer… When we name the movement now, every time we name it we’re saying a prayer. Laudato Si’, praise be the Creator.”

 – Cardinal Michael Czerny, Under-secretary of the Section for Migrants of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.

Laudato Si’ Movement website