Christians call on York Minster and the York Diocese to divest from fossil fuels immediately.
Sunday 2nd April 2022
For immediate release
Photos available here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1Vv5wqQQiX7R2FwAMedljN6DT6by9VvOB?usp=share_link/
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A group from Christian Climate Action held a vigil outside the 10.30 Palm Sunday service at York Minster today. They are calling on York Minster and the York Diocese to join the 18 CofE Dioceses who have already announced a commitment to divest from fossil fuel companies, and who have made a commitment to invest in more clean energy.
Val King, a mother of two who was present at the vigil, said: “Our aim is to bear witness to the terrible destruction on the people of the global south that is being perpetrated by the major oil and gas companies. We are urging congregations and clergy alike to support the moral case for immediate divestment from fossil fuels so that the Church can use its prophetic voice to speak out on the injustices meted out on the poor and disenfranchised.”
The candle-lit vigil included the reading of prayers for Creation and banners with the words: CREATION CRIES OUT and NO FAITH IN FOSSIL FULES. The group also carried out a ’die-in’ outside the Minster, to highlight the human tragedy of the climate emergency. This involved people lying on the ground, covered in white sheets, representing those people in the global south, who have died, and will continue to die as a direct result of global warming. Placards were put next to the ‘corpses’ naming the different causes of death through climate change – famine, suicide, flood, wildfire, drought.
Valerie King explained: “The suffering caused by fossil fuel companies continues here in the UK. People are struggling to heat their homes, while British companies like Shell and BP announce record-breaking profits and drive forward plans to extract new oil and gas.
Christian Climate Action are presenting the Church with a moral decision. One option is to continue funding the fossil fuel industry, which is committed to the exploitation of new oil and gas fields in contradiction to reports from the International Energy Agency and the United Nation’s IPCC. The other option is to divest immediately and support the development of clean alternatives to fossil fuels through investment policies and speak out to governments to halt new oil and gas licences. The moral imperative is clear. We must divest now.”