On the morning of Saturday 17th October, North East Somerset MP Jacob Rees-Mogg was met by Christian and local resident, Rich Prior who is a member Christian Climate Action, the name for the Christians of Extinction Rebellion. Mr Prior was supported by Keynsham Extinction Rebellion. The group carried a coffin enclosing a model of the Earth as they held a silent vigil as a wake for the dying planet outside Mr Rees-Mogg‘s constituency surgery in Wedmore Road, Saltford, near Keynsham. Mr Prior had a meeting with his MP Rees-Mogg a committed Catholic. He read to Mr Rees-Mogg Pope Francis’ call to action made earlier this month:
“Science tells us, every day, with more precision, that urgent action is needed . . . if we are to keep the hope of avoiding radical and catastrophic climate change. And for this we must act now. This is a scientific fact…. Our goal is clear: to build, within the next decade, a world where we can meet the needs of the present generations, including everyone, without compromising the possibilities of future generations. I would like to invite all people of faith, Christian or not, and all people of goodwill, to embark on this journey.”
He asked Mr Rees-Mogg for his response to Pope Francis’ repeated demand to act now. Mr Rees-Mogg confirmed that he had read Laudato Si’, the pope’s call for action on climate change published in 2015.
Mr Prior said: “Mr Rees-Mogg is clearly a committed Catholic but when asked what he thought of the pope’s call to act now he didn’t respond and had no comment to make on this declaration.”
The Reverend Sue Parfitt, 78, an Anglican priest and also a Christian Climate activist who was arrested twice last month whilst supporting Extinction Rebellion, commented: ” As Christians we believe that God created this beautiful world and therefore God would expect us to to do all we can to reverse the catastrophe that we are responsible for. Jacob Rees-Mogg should use his influence to do all we can to reverse it.”
Mr Prior also asked Mr Rees-Mogg to support the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill now before Parliament.