Valerie King describes her arrest in St Paul’s Cathedral
I was one of 15 members of Christian Climate Action (CCA) who went up to the altar of St Paul’s Cathedral on 29 August, and one of the 13 to get arrested. It was a very beautiful service actually – we heard from St James’s letter about the importance of action and not just words:
‘Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his own face in a mirror. He sees himself, then goes off and promptly forgets what he looked like. But the one who peers into the perfect law of freedom and perseveres, and is not a hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, such a one shall be blessed in what he does.’
Dr Paula Gooder, in her sermon, made reference to Extinction Rebellion actions during that week, saying they need to be listened to. We felt very blessed. It helped give us courage for what we were going to do.
Immediately after Communion, we went up and unfurled two banners (below). We sang a Taizé chant, then one of us went up into the pulpit – someone actually turned the microphone on for us – and read a statement as to why we were there: the climate emergency is beyond urgent and the Church can be prophetic in declaring the problems facing humanity. The congregation applauded…
Valerie King is a consultant on transition from private ownership to employee ownership, and a member of Christian Climate Action. She was talking to Stephen Tomkins
This is an extract from an article published in the October 2021 edition of Reform