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CEL home > Reports (News, archive, links) > Press Releases > 18 May 2010 Last updated: May 2010
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CHRISTIAN ECOLOGY LINK PRESS RELEASE                         18 May 2010

Service and Vigil 15 May


SERVICE AND VIGIL 15 MAY, 11 pm (23.00)
ST MARTIN-IN-THE-FIELDS CHURCH, TRAFALGAR SQUARE, LONDON Climate change both a challenge and a curse for Christians

Christians need to be prepared for the long haul on climate issues and need the support of each other in the journey ahead.

This was the message to a gathering at St Martin-in-the-Fields for a climate vigil from Mark Dowd of Operation Noah.

Speaking on the Gospel reading of the parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins in St Matthew, Mark Dowd said:

"The central themes have to be patience for the journey ahead and the need for the constancy of witness. Understanding the perils posed to God's creation by our reading of science and theology is both a curse and a blessing. We are blessed by the fact that we have these insights; that we can focus on the long term and the issues of justice for the world's poor and for species that cannot defend themselves. But it is also a curse. As Jesus said, "those who have been given much, much more will be expected”. We are not deniers. We will be judged on how we give witness to others.

Mark Dowd counselled against despair after the failures of Copenhagen . "This is not a message that should induce complacency. But all God wants is that we each do our best. This can, at times, feel a lonely space to be in. But in the end, even if we, collectively, mess it up, the event that is the conquering triumph over death in Jesus, resurrection tells us that God will always have the final word. An eschatological dimension always transcends the temptation to gloom and despair."

The service at St. Martin-in-the-Fields was organized by Christian Ecology Link and began at 11pm on Saturday 15 th May as part of an all night climate vigil organized by the Campaign against Climate Change. Revd Richard Carter of St. Martin ’s welcomed and concluded the service while Revd Chris Brice led the congregation of approximately 100 people.

Ruth Jarman, a trustee of Christian Ecology Link, said, “Governments lost the plot at last year’s Copenhagen summit, and sceptics have been getting all the airtime recently with some feeble assertions. From the general election campaign you’d think that the problem of dangerous climate change had gone away. But it hasn’t. It’s vital to remember the truth - that we’re still in trouble. We joined the vigil to witness to the reality of climate change and we prayed that the new government makes it a top priority. There is no economy and there are no jobs on a dead planet.”

Deirdre Munro, also a trustee of Christian Ecology Link said, “Many members of the Campaign against Climate Change who attended the service seemed quite struck by the power of the liturgy and the beauty of the music. Maybe the vocabulary of repentance, grief and hope that is so fundamental to our faith is something that we are beginning to be able to share with the wider environmental movement.”

To a lively African melody the service ended with the congregation processing around the church and out to join the Campaign against Climate Change candle-lit procession to Westminster . After listening to speeches outside Parliament, Christian Ecology Link held a meditative prayer vigil in Lambeth Methodist Mission interspersing prayers and readings with Taize and Rizza songs.

The group rejoined the main vigil at Westminster to hear an Alphorn heralding Zero Carbon Dawn at 5am.
NOTES See Order of Service Photographs: Permission to use obtained. RIMG0002 Mark Dowd (Operation Noah) preaching inside St Martin-in-the-Fields DSC_0729 Christian Ecology Link on the steps outside St Martin-in-the-Fields IMG0668-2 Christian Ecology Link, Zero Carbon Dawn, outside Parliament. Photos of the Campaign against Climate Change events.





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