The controversial process of fracking* for shale gas could begin in the UK as early as this spring. In response, three months of community and civil society action, under the banner ‘United Resistance’, are being planned from April – June 2018. As part of this, Quakers from the North West are working alongside people of all faiths and spiritualities to co-create a ‘No Faith in Fracking’ week at the Cuadrilla fracking site at Preston New Road (PR4 3PF) near Blackpool from 23-28 April 2018.
The No Faith in Fracking Week will offer a space for people moved by faith and spirit to express in their various and distinctive ways their shared care for the Earth, their resistance to fracking and their concerns about climate change and climate justice.
Wendy Pattinson a Quaker from Lancaster and member of the No Faith in Fracking group said: “Fracking crosses a climate red line and we cannot allow a new source of fossil fuel to take hold in the UK. The oil coal and gas in reserves already in production and development globally is more than we can afford to burn. There is no room for any new coal, oil or gas exploration and production.”
Dot Kelk, a Catholic from Preston, said: “Pope Francis in his Encyclical Laudato Si puts it very clearly: ‘I urgently appeal..for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet. We need a conversation which includes everyone since the environmental challenge we are undergoing and its human roots concern and affect us all’.
Clíodhna Mulhern, a Quaker from Lancaster, said “ Hydraulic fracturing poses significant, proven risk to the health of local people, it undermines local communities, and contaminates air, water and soil – the very building blocks of life. As people of faith and spirit it is our privilege and our duty to protect life on earth and if that means standing at Cuadrilla’s gates then that is where we shall be. “
Chayley Collis, a Quaker from Huddersfield, said: “Fracking is clearly incompatible with the global Paris climate commitment. The UK Government itself has also recently acknowledged that to have a reasonable chance of keeping global temperature rise below 2 degrees we need to leave up to 75% of existing reserves of fossil fuels in the ground” 
In February 2017 Quakers in Britain issued a statement opposing fracking in the UK Fracking
Hilary Whitehead, a Quaker and one of the organisers of the No Faith in Fracking week, said: “Care for the vulnerable in society, such as those people impacted by climate change, is a theme that unites all faith traditions, as is care for the Earth, our shared home. The No Faith In Fracking Week will bring together a range of faiths and spiritual traditions in upholding the sacredness of Earth. These will include Catholic, Christian, Buddhist, Green Spirit, Wiccan, Quaker and Druid and will involve prayers, rituals, ceremonies, meditations, silent vigils and liturgies at the roadside entrance to Cuadrilla’s fracking site.”
Events planned for the week include:
- Tibetan Buddhist chanting and guided meditation,
- Christian Celtic Care of Creation
- Green Spirit readings from Thomas Berry and Matthew Fox
- Earth care rituals
- Catholic liturgy
- Talks and workshops on the effects of climate change
- Walking meditation led by the Community of Interbeing.
- Meditations led by Dharma Action Network for Climate Engagement (DANCE)
- ‘Earth Agape’ Liturgy led by Christian Climate Action and Faith & Resistance Network
- Quaker-led silent vigils
- Wiccan Wellbeing Celebration Day
- Earth and spirit poetry and readings
- Songs of Hope
A link to the event diary is here: https://nofaithinfracking.org/events/
The co-ordinators of the week are inviting people of all faiths and spiritualities and none to join the peaceful gatherings at any time during the week. More information:
Notes for the Editor
Press contact: 0798 3355955
A film, with interviews from members and supporters of the No Faith in Fracking group, from a range of faith traditions, is available to view here: https://vimeo.com/255967037
1. ‘The Sky’s Limit’, Oil Change International, 2016 and ‘Tackling climate change: Keeping coal , oil and gas in the ground’ Friends of the Earth briefing, July 2017
2. Fossil Fuels: Written question: https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-12-09/56871
3. Faith Against Fracking https://vimeo.com/140180741
Film about US faith groups witness against the fracking industry
* Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a technique designed to recover gas and oil from shale rock.