Bishop hears from Extinction Rebellion protesters in Bristol

First published 19th July 2019

The Bishop of Swindon, Rt Revd Lee Rayfield, has been meeting environmental campaigners in Bristol to listen to their views on caring for the planet.

Bishop Lee, who was joined by Revd Canon Martin Gainsborough, Diocesan Environmental Officer, spent time speaking to Extinction Rebellion campaigners on Thursday morning.

He wanted to learn more about their concerns as the churches across the Diocese look at how they can respond to the current environmental crisis.

Bishop Lee said: There is widespread agreement in the UK, and certainly in Bristol, of our need to take serious action to limit the extent and repercussions of climate change and environmental damage. XRs challenge is that we have not grasped the breadth of what needs to change, and how swiftly it must happen.

The way they issued their challenge has polarised opinions, but I believe we all need to be listening and engaging with that challenge in order to act better together and make the right but difficult choices. These choices have to be made by each of us, but also collectively, for the sake of future generations across the globe.

Campaign group Extinction Rebellion has been holding a week of protests in cities across the UK, including Bristol, to raise awareness of green issues and to pressure the authorities into taking more action to prevent an environmental disaster.

Revd Canon Martin Gainsborough, Diocesan Environmental Officer, said: Extinction Rebellion is posing some hard questions and dilemmas for us all. But we need this if we are to tackle the environmental crisis and secure the planet for future generations.

Christians care about creation. We acknowledge in humility and penitence the damage we have all done to creation. We want to work with others to put things right and we look ahead to the day when all creation will be redeemed and reconciled to God.

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