Five Anglicans who are involved in protests organised by Insulate Britain have written an open letter to Justin Welby in response to his comments that there are better ways to protest.
Following coverage of the Insulate Britain protest we understand that you think there are ‘better ways’ to protest. We are sure that many hearing your thoughts would agree but we need to challenge you. What exactly are these better ways?
We write to you as five Anglicans who would rather not be sitting in the road, disrupting the lives of our fellow British citizens.
Over many years, we have written to MPs, lobbied, and marched, we have organised church and community based events, we have made personal lifestyle changes and commitments but none of this has made the government act. I know that you and other bishops have earnestly ‘engaged’ with oil executives and government in the hope of winning incremental changes. But we have not been successful and nor have you or the bishops.
We have seen in our many parishes how poor people struggle to pay fuel bills, in housing that desperately needs insulation. We watch in horror as global heating gases continue to accumulate and at the unfolding emergency, as fine promises are made. We are on a trajectory which will lead to the UK government breaking its legal obligations under the Paris agreement, and temperatures that will see the suffering and death of millions, probably billions of people. We cannot stand aside and muse over ‘better ways’. We have to do something that cannot be ignored.
We have not taken this decision lightly. It is very frightening for us but we have tried every other way. We accept that we could face serious consequences in the courts. We act out of prayer and we act nonviolently, in the desperate hope of life saving change.
We ask you and the bishops to lead us in a new, transformative and prophetic way. We must turn away now from fossil fuels, and work with groups like Insulate Britain to rescue our nation, our communities and our parishes from our participation in mass suffering, fuel poverty and create proper jobs for many.
‘O Lord, listen and act and do not delay!’ (Daniel 9.19). Please join us.
Dr Ben Buse
Rev Mark Coleman
Rev Tim Hewes
Rev Sue Parfitt