Climate Prayer Vigil Lent 2024

A ‘No Faith in Fossil Fuels’ Prayer Vigil took place outside Parliament, day and night, from February 14th– 24th, the first 10 days of Lent. Christian Climate Action was the overall organizer, and the vigil was supported by many Christian groups, including  Cafod, Christian Aid, Operation Noah and the Salvation Army, to name a few.

The purpose was prayer and public witness outside the UK’s main seat of power: to urge the government to give up fossil fuel expansion, make the UK’s large fossil fuel companies contribute money for climate action, and deliver on the UK’s pledges to pay into the United Nations Loss and Damage fund, which assists countries who have done least to cause climate change but are suffering the most.

Catholic CCA members led a daily Novena to Our Lady Help of Christians. The rosary was said at noon each day after the chimes of Big Ben, led by Columban Sr Kate Midgley, with a plea for creation introducing each mystery. I travelled to London on the second Wednesday, in time to join the rosary and stay with the vigil for a few (very wet!) hours. Several people around, with no tradition of the rosary, said how they had appreciated its rhythm and prayerfulness over the days of vigil, and Kate said many joined in.

It was heartening to see the flow of people of faith joining and leaving, to ensure there was always someone present, even overnight, and to hear conversations with passersby, who often expressed appreciation for this steadfast witness.

Reminder: There is regular ecumenical silent climate vigil in Sheffield City Centre twice a month: First Monday at 5-6 pm on Howard St. outside Hallam University Owen Building; Third Monday on the steps of the Town Hall 12-1pm. Columba Timmins.