No Faith In Fracking week is running between 23-28 April at the gates of Cuadrilla’s fracking site at Preston new Road, Lancashire and has been organised by a grassroots group of individuals, from a range of faith traditions, united in their opposition to fracking and motivated by faith to cherish the Earth for future generations and to speak out against climate injustice that causes huge inequalities across the world. Hundreds of people of all faiths and none are joining them during the week from across the North-West and beyond.
Among the organisers are a number of Quakers from the North-West who wanted to add their solidarity to the ‘United Resistance’ three months of actions running at Cuadrilla’s fracking site at Preston New Road between April and June 2018. Quakers nationally are calling for a ban on new and intensive forms of fossil fuel extraction, including fracking for shale gas and oil, and underground coal gasification. In February 2017 Quakers in Britain issued a statement “The UK needs to be investing in efficient and renewable energy, and reducing demand, not in additional fossil fuels. Fracked gas is not the low-carbon solution some suggest that it is and is incompatible with tackling the climate crisis. It is destructive of the environment, land and communities. We have faith that we can tackle climate change and build a more sustainable future, but we know this is only possible if fossil fuels remain underground.”[1}
Members of the local Catholic community are also present during the week, sharing prayers and readings inspired by Pope Francis’ Laudato Si Encyclical. Dorothy Kelk, a Catholic from Preston said: “In Laudato Si, Pope Francis states clearly his concerns for our planet: ‘I urgently appeal…..for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet’. He says that each of us has a duty to raise awareness about the state of our planet’s health: ‘….Living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience’”.  On ‘Earth Day’ Sunday 22 April 2018 it was announced that 35 Catholic institutions have pledged to remove fossil fuels from their investment holdings.
Many other faith groups and traditions are contributing to the ‘No Faith in Fracking’ Week including:
Community activist and Druid Gillian Kavanagh is organising a Druid Earth Blessing ceremony on the Thursday of No Faith in Fracking week, Gillian commented:
“As a practising Druid my temple is the natural world, I see the Earth as Sacred, divinity in all living things including water. It is my moral and spiritual duty to do all I can to protect our Sacred Earth, for after all we are the guardians of the earth for the children of tomorrow whatever your belief system. Coming together in community and doing what we can to be in alignment with the earth is what indigenous peoples around the world call ‘being in right relationship’. Fracking is definitely out of relationship with the earth and puts profits before people.”
Phil Kingston from Christian Climate Action commented: “We are a community of Christians supporting each other in following Jesus Christ in the face of imminent and catastrophic anthropogenic climate change, in acts of non-violent direct action. The primary cause of climate breakdown is greenhouse gas emissions and we are therefore deeply concerned about the development of fracking, which will only add to those. We come here to acknowledge our own part in the destruction of the Earth and to pray for the grace to be witnesses to a different way of living.”
Joseph Mishan from Dharma Action Network for Climate Engagement commented:
“We are a network of Buddhist meditators who are deeply concerned about the climate crisis. We will be coming to the Fracking front lines at Preston New Road to support the Protectors and to lead actions. Fracking is part of the fossil fuel industry which is endangering life on this unique and precious planet, and damaging the quality of life for local communities. Our central values of compassion and non-harming means that DANCE feel compelled to act when we see injury or harm. We hope to provide a sustaining and determined presence during this action.”
Full list of ‘No Faith in Fracking’ week participants and events: https://nofaithinfracking.org/events/
Press contact: 0798 3355955
1. Quakers in Britain call for ban on fracking: https://www.quaker.org.uk/news-and-events/news/fracking-must-be-banned
2. Laudato Si: Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment and human ecology: Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment and human ecology https://laudatosi.com/watch
3. Catholic institutions divest from fossil fuels: http://www.thetablet.co.uk/news/8942/more-catholic-institutions-divest-from-fossil-fuels#