Green Party MEP gives support to Paris cycle ride

Jean Lambert MEP

Barbara Kentish and Fr Joe Ryan with Jean Lambert, MEP

Barbara Kentish and Fr Joe Ryan met with Jean Lambert, London’s Green Party MEP, on Friday 13th November at her London offices to discuss our pilgrimage to Paris as well as our hopes for the climate change talks.

She was very helpful and supportive, giving guidance and providing us with excellent background knowledge of the conference: Continue reading

Cycling pilgrimage to Paris is just around the corner

Phase 1 of cycle ride

Barbara Kentish and Fr Joe Ryan in front of Westminster Cathedral at the launch of the pilgrimage

With only two weeks to go until our small band of intrepid cyclists pedal to Paris, we are making our last minute preparations, oiling our bike chains and stocking up on puncture repair kits.

There are 17 cyclists in total who will be making the journey, and they represent a diverse group of people of all ages and from different walks of life. We have Catholics, Anglicans, Baptists and Quakers, who have all been inspired to show their support for the upcoming UN climate talks and to lend their voices to the thousands of people who will converge on France’s capital to call for action to lower global carbon emissions. Continue reading

Westminster Justice & Peace Annual Day 2015

Laudato Si’ – On Care for our Common Home

Fr Joe with J&P supporters

Fr Joe Ryan with J&P supporters

Nine  years after  Columban theologian Sean McDonagh first addressed the Diocesan Justice and Peace Commission he returned to give a wonderfully enriching overview of Pope Francis’s letter, Laudato Si’.  Over seventy people from across the diocese attended the occasion at St John Vianney Parish Centre In Tottenham, as Father Sean rolled out gem after gem of the encyclical, published in May, with illustrations from his own observations and experiences of over 40 years speaking out for the environment.  Continue reading

Our next Pray and Fast for the Climate Vigil !

Next vigil: July 1stOver 6 months since we took on our pledge to Pray and Fast for the Climate and with 6 Vigils behind us, we approach the next 6 months with hope and enthusiasm! We mark the 1st of each month with prayer and fasting in solidarity with Yeb Sano, leader of the Filipino climate delegation who during the UN interim Climate talks 2013 promised to fast on the 1st of every month until some decision was taken over climate change.

Our next Vigil is set to be one of the most diverse, moving and inspirational yet! Taking place at Our Lady Queen of Apostles Church in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire. The evening will include parish representatives from Australia, Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and South America. We will hear first hand of how Climate change is damaging some of the poorest and most neglected parts of our world and how we as a community and as a Church can work to stop it. The evening will conclude with a chance to break our fast together over a simple meal.

The evening will take place on Wednesday 1st July and starts at 7:00pm (finishing at around 9:00pm) in the Parish Hall at Our Lady of Apostles, 141 Woodhall Lane, Welwyn Garden City, Herts AL7 3TP. Please join us in this important act of solidarity and prayer.

Please see below for a map of the area.

Gearing up for Climate Change and the UN Paris talks

Gearing up for Climate Change: Paris and the UN Climate talks

2015 Paris group 1

J&P at the Pax Christi France Climate Study Day. l to r Ann Kelly, Barbara Kentish, Christine Lang – environment secretary PX France, Francis McDonagh

Pax Christi France held its annual study day in Paris on Climate Change in March with 200 participants. Present were 3 Justice and Peace members from England, with a view to establishing links ahead of the COP 21 UN Climate talks in Paris in December. Barbara Kentish and Francis McDonagh from Westminster Justice and Peace, with Ann Kelly, administrator of the National Justice and Peace Network, were hoping to add Justice and Peace support to French groups working to raise awareness of the importance of the talks.
Using Pope Benedict’s 2010 message, ‘If you want peace, protect creation’, speakers spelt out what needed to be changed to ensure humanity’s very survival in the coming decades. ‘Never before till this century’, said Dominique Lang, Assumptionist father and chaplain to Pax Christi France, ‘has the human family come together to reflect on its own future on the planet’. Challenges for all Western countries at the Paris talks will be not only to convince climate sceptics, but to raise climate change as a much higher priority on our political agendas, so that agreement can be reached to curtail carbon emissions before global warming becomes irreversible. Participants were reminded that for poorer countries climate change is not a future danger, but present scourge. Countries affected -Vanuatu, Philippines, Tonga, Guatamala and Bangladesh being the most vulnerable – are already suffering flooding, hurricanes and typhoons. It is important to accept that these and other countries of the ‘south’ need to develop, but must be supported to do so without fossil fuels
Bishop Marc Stenger, president of Pax Christi France, together with Christian journalists and scientists, called for an ‘ecological conversion’, amongst Christians, saying,
“We think it is necessary that Christians finally play their full part in the global combat for the respect for life, and become committed both spiritually and practically alongside environmental activists.”
Theologian and biologist Fabien Revol sketched out a Christian approach to the ‘end of a world’, in which hundreds of species have become extinct, resources have become depleted, oceans polluted, and land flooded. The ‘new heaven and new earth’ of Revelation promises Christ’s resurrection of all of creation. Our task is to attend to, to protect and to collaborate with God’s creation in all its becoming and all its integrity.
The French bishops are formulating their plans to welcome possibly thousands of ‘climate pilgrims’ for the Paris talks. There will be an ecumenical gathering in Notre Dame Cathedral on December 3rd, and an interfaith gathering is also planned. Pilgrimages will arrive from Germany, Italy, the UK, Scandinavia, and Africa. Dominique Lang stressed the need for awareness-raising amongst those from developing countries, since some of these are and will be the first to be affected by climate change.
Justice and Peace Westminster has joined the Pray and Fast for the Climate initiative and are planning a Pilgrimage to Paris along with other Christians, inspired by the World Council of Churches initiative, led by Martin Kopp.

2015 Paris BK + M Koppf

Martin Kopp World Lutheran Federation delegate for Climate Conferences

See for details.