Salford parishioners have joined together with the Head of the Catholic Church in Manchester to send a message to the UK government regarding climate change.
On Friday 3rd September, the Bishop of Salford, Right Reverend John Arnold, walked a large eco-banner, decorated with wide open eyes, into Salford Cathedral where a live-streamed service was held.
The stunt comes as part of the “Eyes of the World” campaign by the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD), who wish to bring the government’s attention to the effect that climate change is having on the world’s poorest communities.
In a press release, Bishop John said: “We have come to a moment of reckoning – climate change is having a more radical and damaging impact sooner than many of the climate scientists had been predicting.
“While even here in Europe we have seen record temperatures, droughts, floods and wildfires, the impact of climate change is so much greater in the poorest countries of the world.”
He added: “We all need to be aware of the damage being done to our Earth, and the ‘Eyes of the World’ campaign is promoting that knowledge so that we can all understand what is happening.
“It is so important that we all understand that each and every one of us has a part to play and this is a matter of real urgency.”
The campaign aims to highlight the high expectations for the outcome of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, to be held in Glasgow in November.
The conference, also known as COP26, will bring countries together to tackle the climate crisis, working towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework convention on Climate Change.
CAFOD have coordinated the journey of the banner, which has already travelled to Blackpool Tower, the Welsh Assembly, Brighton Old Pier, the White Cliffs of Dover, Oxford Radcliffe Camera and the Houses of Parliament.
The banner’s final destination will be the Scottish Event Campus in Glasgow at the UN Climate Change Conference.
Simon Holleron, CAFOD’s representative for the Manchester region, has said: “The parishioners of Salford, Bishop John Arnold and members of The Union for Catholic Mothers inspire us by showing that when we work together, we can raise awareness, get our voices heard and bring about change.
“With people across the UK taking part in the ‘Eyes of the World’ campaign, we hope that together our voices are heard which the UK government and world leaders cannot ignore.”
Over 10,000 students have already joined the ‘Eyes of the World’ banner campaign, and CAFOD hope that as COP26 draws closer, thousands more school children, young people and adults will get involved.
(Featured Image Credit: Holly Jones/Diocese of Salford)