Christians in court for climate protests


We need to move rapidly. What we do in the next 3-4 years, I believe, will determine the future of humanity.” 

― Sir David King, ex-Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government 

Two Christians, including Passionist priest Fr Martin Newell (55), and Ben Buse, a Christian from Bristol, are amongst a group of nine people on trial at Hove Crown Court this week for taking part in from Insulate Britain’s 2021 campaign of nonviolent civil resistance undertaken to demand the UK government insulate Britain’s cold and leaky homes.[1]

The defendants are charge with “Public Nuisance” after blocking a road for over two hours at Dover Port in September 2021, bringing traffic to a standstill. This is the fifteenth Insulate Britain jury trial, a number of which  have resulted in ‘not guilty’ verdicts by juries. [2]

Fr Martin Newell, 55 from London said:

“Pope Francis calls us to hear the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor. I took part in Insulate Britain in an attempt to take that call seriously. Pope Francis said in Laudato Si that our common home which is the earth is among the most abused and neglected of our neighbours. I live and work with refugees and asylum seekers. So I am acutely aware of the increasing impact of extreme weather resulting from climate change, such as the floods in Congo that recently killed over 400 people from one region. Increasing inequality and fuel poverty within the UK is also a moral scandal that cries to heaven. The Gospel call to hear these urgent cries is what impelled me to take part in the Insulate Britain campaign.” 

Ben Buse said:

“Science documents our warming world and the increases in extreme weather, as well as it’s unequal impacts. Christian Aid have reported  the devastation already happening. It is a justice issue, a refugee issue, a biodiversity issue.  Action is required at all levels. Dover Port was an iconic place to call for government action in the run up to COP 26 in Glasgow. 9,500 people also die of cold, uninsulated homes each winter in the UK. Christian faith requires us to tackle  problems at the root. We need structural change, laying the foundations for a just, equitable and sustainable future. A future where creation can heal and be restored, anticipating the the time when all will be righted.”

The trial comes after a series of unprecedented floods, droughts and heat waves have  wreaked havoc across the globe, some of which “would be almost impossible without climate change” according to the “World Weather Attribution initiative”  [3] and the UN IPCC report in March warned that only swift and drastic action can avert irrevocable damage. [4]


[1] Insulate Britain is a campaign group that is calling on the UK government to put in place policy and funding for a national home insulation programme starting with all social housing by 2025, and create a meaningful plan to insulate the entire UK housing stock by 2030.

Further information about Insulate Britain and our demands here:

Technical Report on home energy efficiency here:

Insulate Britain’s ‘Blue Lights’ policy: this policy is, and has always been, to move out of the way for emergency vehicles with ‘blue lights’ on.


[3] See:

Congo floods –

Italy – drought and floods:


[4] Scientists deliver ‘final warning’ on climate crisis: act now or it’s too late