During Holy Week, members of Christian Climate Action, who are part of the Extinction Rebellion, washed the feet of members of the public and fellow protestors, as part of a traditional Maundy Thursday ritual replicating Jesus washing the feet of his disciples at the Last Supper.
The event was headed up by Rev Helen Burnett, an Anglican Curate, from London.
Members brought washing bowls, water, soap, oils and towels.
Rev Burnett said: “Part of what Extinction Rebellion believes is that the climate catastrophe that we face is both spiritual and ecological, and that to reverse the effects of climate change we are called to fundamentally change the structures of the systems under which we live.”
Mother-of-three from London, Rachie Ross, a member of Christian Climate Action, added: “The foot washing was a sacred space to engage, refresh and serve fellow rebels. It really opened up conversations and stories about why we are all here, stories of fear and courage and deep compassion for humanity. It was a very special time, kneeling to serve on Maundy Thursday.”
The foot washing took place at Marble Arch and Oxford Circus.
Later on Thursday four members of the group were arrested at Oxford Circus.
One of them was 77-year-old Rev Sue Parfitt. She said: “It has been such a sweltering hot day today. We have all been sharing sun cream and water but I would really rather be at home in the shade. The only reason I’m here is because this is an emergency and we must take action now. That’s why I’m prepared to be arrested. If it makes people in power pay attention and it ends the suffering of climate breakdown it will be worthwhile.”