Catholics, including Laudato Si’ Animators, Catholics for Christian Climate Action, Green Christian, Justice and Peace and CAFOD supporters, from across England gathered on November 14th for a Vigil of Prayer at Hinsley Hall in Leeds on the first full day of the plenary meeting of the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales.

The group prayed for vital global financial assistance for the poorest and most vulnerable countries affected by climate change and held a banner reading “Loss and Damage is a Pro-Life Issue”.

Helen Elwes, artist and Laudato Si’ Animator, had brought her painted banner ‘Mother of Mercy’ to the Vigil, a contemporary icon of Mary sheltering praying figures and endangered animals beneath her mantle, and set in the burning Rainforest.

They also prayed for the Bishops and the work of the Conference.

The group had previously sent a letter to each bishop assuring them of prayer and asking that the Bishops speak out to the UK Government about compensation and reparation finance owed to countries already suffering from the impacts of the climate crisis but who are not responsible for causing it, as is being highlighted by Cardinal Ambongo and the Catholic Bishops in Africa.

In addition the the group’s letter asked for a raising of the profile of the interlinked crises of the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor by means of a pastoral letter and by encouraging the showing of the film The Letter, recently released by the Laudato Si’ Movement in partnership with the Vatican Dicastery for Integral Human Development.

Bishop John Arnold, CBCEW spokesperson for the environment, alongside with other bishops, came out to pray with us and this was much appreciated by those holding the vigil.

A report has gone into ICN News.