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CAFOD

The Time is Now: You showed you care about the climate crisis

26 June 2019

We spoke up and told the UK government that enough is enough. We showed up to central London, united, to say that, as people of faith, we are determined to act for our common home and that this climate crisis is not the legacy we want to leave for our grandchildren. This is not the future we want.

An estimated 12,000 people took to the streets around Westminster to lobby their MPs to call for further, faster action on climate change and environmental protection. With over 300 MPs coming out to meet their constituents we know our voices have been heard.

Perhaps most inspiring were the pupils from primary and secondary schools. Travelling from all over the country to talk to their MPs and have their say on climate change, they're aware we all need to make changes to make a better world. 

Watch interviews with some of our young campaigners on BBC Newsround

Working together to tackle the crisis

The Time is Now saw a coming together of people from all faiths and walks of life. The day began with interfaith workshops spanning issues from across the climate and environment spectrum.

Faith leaders from all major religions – including former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, Qari Asim MBE, Chair of the Mosques and Imams Advisory Board, Vishvapani, Buddhist teacher and Radio 4 Thought for the Day contributor, Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, leader of Masorti Judaism in the UK, and Christine Allen, CAFOD Director – joined together on the steps of St Martin-in-the-Fields.

The Walk of Witness

From St Martin-in-the-Fields we crossed to Trafalgar Square and walked en masse to Whitehall to show we have a shared hope and a common aim. People held banners, took up chants and  started the day off with so much energy and enthusiasm!

Some quotes from the day

Kevin Haigh, from the north-east, travelled down to take part in The Time is Now. He is a long-time CAFOD supporter and is no stranger to lobbying his MP. Here are his thoughts on why we need to take urgent climate action:

"It's nearly too late. We need to act, it's got to be now. In 15-20 years it will be too late - I need to think of my grandchildren and what's in front of them.

"Don't hesitate to contact your MP. Ask hard questions and beg them to get something done. We're running out of time."

London - The Time is Now - Supporter Kevin Haigh

Kevin Haigh from the north-east is a long-time CAFOD supporter and was keen to discuss the climate crisis with his MP.

The pupils of the Sacred Heart Primary School in Wandsworth dressed as Zero Heroes and spoke to us about how climate change is affecting them.

"Putney High Street is one of the most polluted places in England. We should have more roads where cars aren't allowed to make this better. Climate change is bad for us and the whole world. Sometimes people listen more to children than grown ups. Every child has the right to be respected.

"If we come together as a big group we might be able to stop climate change."

London - The Time is Now - Sacred Heart Wandsworth

Pupils from Sacred Heart Wandsworth dressed as Zero Heroes for The Time is Now lobby

The lobby queue

Walking around the lobby queue there was a real sense of excitement and expectation. People were clearly prepped to talk passionately to their MP and demand action. There was a sea of placards with slogans about combating climate change: "Keep the planet cool", "There is no planet B" and, a personal favourite, "More masses, less gasses".

Many organisations were represented among the crowds: WWF, Christian Aid, the Wildlife Trust, Islamic Relief, Friends of the Earth and the list goes on! At 2pm alarms went off all along the queue with over 12,000 people making a noise about climate change. Alongside alarms a cheer went up and chants of "The Time is Now" could be heard!

London - The Time is Now - MPs in Rickshaw

MPs in their rickshaw, travelling to talk to their constituents at The Time is Now.

As MPs arrived on rickshaws people gathered more tightly in their constituency areas, listening closely to each other's questions and what their MPs had to say. As the MPs all arrived at different times there were also those reflecting on what their MP had said to them, as well as those checking their watches to figure out how late their MP was.

London - The Time is Now - Sandy Martin

Sandy Martin, MP for Ipswich and Shadow Minister for Waste and Recycling, talking to constituents at The Time is Now

A mass to end the day

After everyone had queued to speak to their MPs, after the 2 o'clock alarm moment, after all the chants, amazing placards and buzz of enthusiasm in the air, many of us made our way to mass to end the day. We came together to celebrate our common home and the gift of creation.

London - The Time is Now - Mass

Supporters gather for mass celebrating our common home

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