Anglican Vicar Spends a Week in Jail After Climate Protest

A retired Anglican priest who was held on remand in HMP Birmingham after taking part in a protest outside the Kingsbury Oil Depot has been released having spent a week in prison. Revd Bill White, 67, took part in the protest, which was asking the government to halt new licenses for gas and oil exploration, despite a High Court Injunction banning protestors from the site.

Bill (far right in the photo above) was released on Thursday 19th May in the afternoon after attending a court hearing in the morning. He was charged with contempt of court for breaking the Kingsbury Injunction and ordered to pay court costs.

Bill sitting in front of a lorry at a previous Just Stop Oil protest

The protest was part of the Just Stop Oil campaign. At least 12 Christians, including at least six members of the clergy, have been involved in the campaign to date. Revd Tim Hewes, 71, of Wantage, also attended a protest at the Kingsbury site. He was not held on remand but he also appeared in court yesterday where he was ordered to pay court costs and a fine.

Bill amplified his protest at Kingsbury by refusing to leave his court cell for a hearing at Birmingham Crown Court last Thursday 12th May. Peaceful non-compliance with hearings is an increasing tactic amongst Just Stop Oil campaigners, 18 of whom have now been jailed or remanded.

Bill, fourth from left outside court with supporters shortly after his release

Bill, 67, a former Church of England parish priest in both Cheshire and Cumbria, and a grandfather to four said:

“I am here because the government is failing to meet its legal and moral obligations to the rest of us. We are simply asking that as a first step we do not give permission for any new fossil fuel projects. Pouring more oil on a burning world is both mad and immoral. I see this non-violent civil resistance as the outworking of such costly love as God is calling us to.”

In 2021, Co-Chair of Working Group II of the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report warned that: “If governments are serious about the climate crisis, there can be no new investments in oil, gas and coal, from now – from this year.” Despite this, a report by Friends of the Earth published in October 2021 estimated that around 40 applications for new projects would be brought to the UK Government by fossil fuel companies in the next few years.

3 thoughts on “Anglican Vicar Spends a Week in Jail After Climate Protest

  1. Gillian Stevens says:

    Well done all you who are giving up your freedom to try and save the lives of future generations. The government and big companies are obviously only interested in money and not in saving peoples lives.
    Blessings and love to you all.
    Gilly Stevens. xx

  2. Daphne Honey says:

    Thank you Bill for your willingness to serve for the benefit of us all. God bless you , your words and actions.

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