Retired bishop to hold vigil highlighting climate change
Concerns about how climate change will impact their grandchildren have prompted a retired Church of Ireland bishop and his wife to organise a vigil at St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast, to highlight the issue.
Bishop Alan Abernethy, who was Bishop of Connor from 2007 until 2019, is inviting those wanting to raise awareness of climate change to stand with him and his wife Liz in silence and prayer over a two–hour period on Saturday September 16.
“As grandparents, we are concerned at how climate change is affecting our children and grandchildren,” Mrs Abernethy said. “As Christians, we are distressed that the most vulnerable are going to suffer the most, with hunger, drought, floods and home loss being realities for them.”
The vigil will run from 10am to 12noon. People can attend for the full period, or just for a short time. There will be silent prayer outside and a prayer space with visuals in a side chapel indoors.
“Please consider joining us for any part of that time,” Mrs Abernethy said. “We will simply stand in silence and prayer, recognising the climate crisis; recognising and seeking forgiveness for our complicity in it; praying for those who have lost their homes, food and water because of climate change; and praying for those with the levers of power that they will act for the good of all the earth and its people.”
Bishop and Mrs Abernethy have two children, Peter and Ruth, and three grandsons. “We are concerned about their future,” said Mrs Abernethy. “The vigil is to raise awareness that we cannot just sit back and assume that all will be well.”