15 year-old Josh Perry set up the event with John Glen, his local MP in the UK, in support of Christian Aid’s Hunger for Justice campaign, which encourages churchgoers and others to lobby to make climate change a political priority in the UK. He also asked Christians to take action by signing the Anglican Alliance’s Oceans of Justice petition, which will ask the leaders of the G20 countries to take action on climate change for Pacific Islanders.
Josh said, “Mine is the generation that is going to have to live with climate change and deal with it, and we need to get on with solving the problem. The issue is urgent. Climate change is often talked about as something that is going to happen in the future, but it’s happening now in the Pacific.”
He continued, “My Mum has a friend who is a Solomon Islander and she e-mailed us about the event, saying, ‘We need help, and we need it now, and any pressure you can apply on politicians is appreciated.'”
The Bishop of Salisbury, the Right Reverend Nicholas Holtam, attended the event and said:
“It’s important that the event was organised by a teenager. Young people have a tremendous sense of care for the environment, locally and globally. The Christian faith teaches us that the world is not ours to do with as we please, but God’s for us to look after.”
Bishop Nicholas drew attention to those most affected by climate change and said, “Mostly, it’s the poorest in the world who are already most affected by climate change, which is why Christian Aid are involved. For example, on the Pacific islands, sea levels are rising which is already causing erosion and poisoning farm land with salt water.”
He asked churchgoers to take action in three ways: “Firstly, to pray to God, talk with others and inform their conscience about the issue. Secondly, to think about what they can do as individuals. Thirdly, but perhaps most importantly, to pray for those most affected by climate change, especially in the poorest parts of the world.
He said, “One concrete step that people of any faith can take now is to sign the Anglican Alliance’s petition calling for climate change to be put on the agenda of next month’s G20 summit of the world’s most powerful countries. So far, the Australian government is refusing to do so, although their Pacific neighbours are some of the countries most at risk from climate change-related devastation.”
In the picture (from left to right): the Rt Revd Edward Condry, Bishop of Ramsbury; John Glen MP; Josh Perry; the Right Revd Nicholas Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury.
Article credit: Diocese of Salisbury