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Journey to the Copenhagen Summit

Ruth Jarman writes:

My daughter, Helen, and I went to Copenhagen for the weekend. We arrived back a little tired of the 36 hours in trains and stations, but invigorated by spending so much time, and in such close quarters, with other people who know how bad things are, believe there is still hope for the earth, and cannot but act on that hope.

Our ticket from Brussels, food on the train, Copenhagen transport and the school hall floor we slept on was all laid on for us by the Campaign against Climate Change, who told us in bold writing that they were not a travel agency! Well they fooled me.

Helen was the only child on the train and, cuddling a large soft polar bear, was surrounded by cameras and microphones when we arrived at Brussels station. She turned 10 on the train somewhere in Denmark and I brought out a vegan chocolate cake with candles while the French, British and Danish people who were still awake in our carriage joined in with “Happy Birthday”.

With 100,000 people we marched from the centre of Copenhagen to the conference centre on the Saturday. We didn’t know and we couldn’t control what was happening in the minds or documents of the conference delegates, all we could do was to be there, to tell them with our presence that the earth needs them to agree a deal that is safe and fair. At the end of the march, close to the Bella Conference Centre four of us stopped and prayed, pretty-much shouting above the noise of our fellow protestors. We prayed for courage, compassion and wisdom for the negotiators, and for the Holy Spirit to turn upside down the priorities of politics.

We met Rowan Williams at the Anglican church on the Sunday. “You haven’t been marching have you?” he asked, beaming, on noticing our rucksacks and banners.

Was it worth it? Did it make any difference? God only knows. All I know is that it felt right to be there.

“We are to be bearers of good news for the world that God has made. Not for any one little bit of it, not any one community at the expense of others, not even for humanity at the expense of everything else in the universe. Good news for all of creation. The health of the world around us and our own long-term health are not two things but one. Let us not lose sight of that.” Dr Rowan Williams, speaking at The Wave

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