Over two days, several Anglicans from our diocese took part in a peaceful and prayerful protest outside the Petroleum Conference, which celebrates the industry that extracts fossil fuels for consumption – with such consumption exacerbating the severe impacts of climate change on our planet. The Christian presence at the conference stood in stark contrast to the images portrayed by some news media outlets, and represented an important call for justice, according to some of our people who were there.
“This blue jewel of a planet that is our home is under threat of irreparable exploitation of natural resources,” says Rev Andy Hickman, Curate in the Parish of All Saints Palmerston North, and attendee at the protest. “We urgently need alternative solutions to our energy needs so that our nation becomes fossil fuel free.”
“Mitigating climate change is essential for loving our global neighbours, caring for creation, promoting peace and stewarding our resources for future generations,” says Kate Day, our Diocesan Advocacy Enabler. “Our climate is already changing, causing more storms, fires and droughts. It is our poorest glbal neighbours who will suffer most.”
Speaking out on behalf of our Pacific neighbours and of creation was the theme of the Christian protest, which included a prayer space, with an opportunity to lament the impact that we as a society have already had on our environment, and the cost that we continue to bear. Such activity was inherent to our Anglican faith, says Rev Andy. “Anglicans believe in the inter-connectedness of spirituality and justice. One of the marks of Anglican mission is ‘to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.'”
Andy continues: “When we join together in loving solidarity with tangata whenua and recognise our stewardship of Aotearoa’s taonga, we are enacting a liberating protest against the scandalous mistreatment and exploitation of Earth’s resources. This is what it means to love our neighbour and therefore honour God.”
If you would like to see some photos from the protest, you can view the album on the Anglican Advocacy Facebook page here.