Christian climate protesters target church as they interrupt BBC-broadcasted service with chants

People protesting in church

Christian climate protesters target church as they interrupt BBC-broadcasted service with chants

Christian Climate Action
George Bunn

By George Bunn

Published: 30/11/2023

- 08:44

Updated: 30/11/2023

- 08:47

The protest was led by Christian Climate Action

A group of activists interrupted a service at Chichester Cathedral to protest against the diocese.

The activists, from Christian Climate Action, stood up in the evensong service, holding signs reading ‘Chichester Diocese funds climate chaos’.

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The service, which was being broadcast live on BBC Radio 3, was interrupted by the group last night.

During the protest, the group sang a plainsong penitential chant, reading out a statement and then engaging in prayer.

Protesters in a church

The group interrupted the Evensong service

Christian Climate Action

The group have accused the Diocese of Chichester of being invested in fossil fuels.

Rev Hilary Bond, who took part in the protest, said: "As Christians, we follow a God who is all about justice, especially for the poor.

"Many of the poorer parts of the world are already enduring great suffering because of the effects of climate change, brought about by the continued use of fossil fuels by the richer parts of the world.

"In continuing to invest in fossil fuels the Diocese of Chichester are ignoring the cry of the poor when they could so easily invest more ethically and be part of bringing climate justice to the whole of God’s world."


Chichester protest

The group said the Diocese of Chichester voted to stay invested in fossil fuels.

Christian Climate Action

The Diocese of Chichester has been approached for a comment.

Another person who took part in the protest was Mary Smail who said: "Eleven days ago, the Chichester Diocesan Synod voted to retain the Dioceses’ investments in fossil fuels, despite the Church of England National Investment Bodies having decided to divest – because ‘engagement has failed’.

"It is astonishing that Chichester has chosen this path, described by the UN Secretary-General as ‘a highway to climate hell’.

"We protest at this wanton irresponsibility and call upon the Diocese to reverse its decision."

The group said that earlier this year, the Church of England’s National Investment Bodies pledged to divest from fossil fuels.

However, they accuse the Chichester dioceses of voting to stay invested in fossil fuels.

Mother of three Ruth Jarman, who took part in the protest said: "The earth is crying out for prophetic, moral leadership – a role the Church should be providing.

"It cannot do this while invested in companies that are in the business of destroying life."

The group were protesting against the diocese

Christian Climate Action

A spokesperson from the cathedral said: "Chichester Cathedral holds no investment in companies whose main business is the extraction of oil, gas or coal, and we are fully compliant with Church of England Policy (Ethical Investment Advisory Group).

"The Cathedral investments are overseen by CCLA – a fund manager with a specific focus upon charities, religious organisations and the public sector.

"One of the reasons CCLA were selected by the Cathedral’s Chapter was for their positioning on climate change and social justice within their investment strategy."

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