Several hundred Quakers, including many from Central England joined tens of thousands of people at ‘The Big One’ in London between 21st and 24th April 2023, to call for climate justice.
There was an important focus on speaking truth to power, with ‘people’s pickets’ at government departments across Whitehall (including at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, pictured below). A meeting for worship outside Parliament (pictured above and left) felt incredibly gathered despite the noisy protest happening all around us.
Worship in St James Park was an opportunity to connect with nature, before joining the march and die-in for biodiversity, with many creative props and costumes sharing our love of the living world. There were also many opportunities to build community with each other, with Westminster Meeting providing hospitality and respite across the weekend. And amidst the crowds there was space to connect with those outside Quakers who share our vision for a just and sustainable future.
We hope that the creative and caring atmosphere can feed into our conversations around climate justice as an Area Meeting. If you’d like to connect with others locally, one place to start is the regular silent vigil ‘Concern for the Climate’ held by Quakers every Wednesday 1.30 – 1.45pm outside St Phillips Cathedral, central Birmingham.
On the Friday (21st April) Westminster Meeting House also hosted the Salter Lecture, with a very relevant theme: ‘How the love we are will guide us through ecological collapse’. Norwich Quaker and long-time environmental leader, Rupert Read led his audience carefully from the horrible truth of the climate crisis to the wonderful truth hidden within. Read more about the lecture and watch a video on the Quakers in Britain website.