Our fantastic young climate bloggers have had a busy month campaigning and raising awareness – so much to celebrate! Several groups attended the lobby of parliament last month. Toby, from All Saints, describes the visit to parliament as follows:
Seven students from All Saints travelled down to the Houses of Parliament to discuss climate change with their MPs and what they were going to do about it. We began our day with two of our students attending the ecumenical service at the Emmanuel Centre, Westminster. They helped carried two pieces of a broken heart that fitted together. The heart stood for the motto of the lobby, “…for the love of…”.
The crack in the heart was to show what we as humans are doing to the earth. Later we made our way to the Houses of Parliament to rally with our local MPs and discuss the issues and solutions to climate change.
Some students from St James had time to reflect on the lobby and its relevance to the Pope’s encyclical, which was published the day immediately after the lobby.
The opening paragraph of the encyclical sets the tone for the whole document: the Earth “is protesting for the wrong that we are doing to her, because of the irresponsible use and abuse of the goods that God has placed on her. We have grown up thinking that we were her owners and dominators, authorised to loot her. The violence that exists in the human heart, wounded by sin, is also manifest in the symptoms of illness that we see in the Earth, the water, the air and in living things.” Pope Francis, June 2015.
The document calls for swift action, and action was what some St James students were up to today. Several year 10 students joined schools from across the country to lobby their MP on climate change. After a training session in Romero House, the team headed for Archbishop’s Park, where students prepared and shared their climate concerns with the other schools.
Each school with the help of CAFOD had organised an appointment with their MP. Matthew Offord MP met us just outside Parliament and talked with us for about 45 minutes. Having a Geography degree, Mr Offord was very clued up about the climate and impressed us with his answers. In addition to answering the many questions he agreed to take part in our chatterbox activity. He ended up going head to head with Autumn. We certainly gave him a run for his money with the questions! We hope that this trip is just the beginning of both learning more about climate change, and putting the Pope’s encyclical into action.