About hilw3

spiritual activist, loves nature

Quaker briefing on the Government consultation on permitted development re fracking applications

Letter to MPs from Councillors & ConstituentsDuring the summer we are being asked to campaign on keeping our local democracy intact, particularly with regard to planning applications for fracking and the consultation runs until October 25.

Here are two links below, firstly the Quaker response and secondly what the Government has said. Please take time to engage with your local MP and councillors about this matter. Friends of the Earth and 350.org have also got campaign materials in circulation and the Quaker perspective is very clear too.

Quaker briefing – PRINT-fracking-consultation-briefing-aug-2018

Government paper on the issue

Letters to MPs  Letter to MPs from Councillors and Constituents

Christian Aid organise a meeting on Skype of Christian activists from NW England and South Africans with a focus on fracking.

We met in Preston four of us from the campaign in Lancashire and #NoFaithinFracking with Ruth Platt the NW co-ordinator for Christian Aid. Ruth had set up the connection with the African Christian group from Kwa-Zulu Natal who were involved with the land. They are connected with the Church Land Programme and this is their FB page https://m.facebook.com/ChurchLandProgramme/

We were given in advance a passage from Romans Chapter 8 verses 18-25 to study and discuss after introducing ourselves and our situations here and in Africa. They told us that people were being relocated, moved off the land and they feel that their rights are being violated.

As we have seen with globalisation, the worlds resources are being sold off by Govts to various multi-national extractive industries. The area being targeted in Kwa-Zulu Natal is Newcastle, a coal mining area, very similar to what we have in the English regions with deeper shale layers.

We plan to meet up again in the autumn and feel enriched by our sharing.

No Faith in Fracking week in April

hilarywhitehead

In February we formed a small group to plan for a week of activities based around faith and spirituality as part of the three months of #UnitedResistance at Preston New Road, near Blackpool.

It has been an amazing experience of everyone contributing their skills in whatever way suited them and inviting many different groups to come and participate. We put together a programme for the week on the newly formed website www. nofaithinfracking.org and I camped for the week at Maple Farm, a mile away from the site entrance. The weather was challenging at times with quite a chilly wind and rain from time to time. We managed to maintain a presence at the gates for most of Cuadrilla’s working week. Throughout it all there was a spirit of solidarity in spite of the police performing their tasks of moving people out of the way for any vehicle movements…

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Faith Groups Join in Resisting Fracking

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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.

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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}

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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’”. [2] On ‘Earth Day’ Sunday 22 April 2018 it was announced that 35 Catholic institutions have pledged to remove fossil fuels from their investment holdings.[3]

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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/

Notes

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#

‘No Faith in Fracking’ Week 23-28 April, Lancashire

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.”[1]

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” [2]

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.