Thursday, 15 October 2009

Wave prayer walk and Lambeth Palace

In December it is hoped that over 30,000 people will come to London to join a march and rally to draw attention to how seriously we take the issue of climate change and the importance of gaining an agreement at the Copenhagen summit. Yesterday I shared with Steve Clifford of the Evangelical Alliance, Roger Forster of Icthus, David Reed from the Salvation Army and Matthew Frost and Ben Niblett of Tearfund on a prayer walk along the proposed route of the march.

The event will be known as “The Wave” and participants will be encouraged to wear blue gloves and wave to those we pass. Saturday 5th December will be a major pre-Christmas shopping day so there won’t be any shortage of people to wave at! It’s also a sign of the impact of rising sea levels and we’ve only too recently been made aware of the way huge tidal waves can devastate vulnerable low lying islands in the South Pacific.

We started from Grosvenor Square opposite the American Embassy and walked down to Piccadilly, through Trafalgar Square and along Whitehall to Westminster, passing Downing Street on the way. At key points along the way we stopped to pray for those who would be taking part, for a peaceful day, for those in business and government around the world who can make such a difference if we encourage them to do so, and for the scientists who act as modern day prophets on this issue.

I hope as many people as can do so will take time to come to London in December. The Churches have a big role to play in highlighting the importance of climate change and reducing carbon footprints, leading debate and setting examples to follow.

Following the event I had the opportunity to meet Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury once again as I had been invited to attend an evening reception at Lambeth Palace. A large crowd of people shared conversation in the panelled Guard Room Hall, and I was surprised to bump in to the Chief Medical Officer, Sir Liam Donaldson, and we talked about the way many communion services had been altered since the outbreak of swine flu. It’s an interesting area where my Church and medical roles come so closely together.

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