News by email Donate


Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

UK News

Former Archbishop of Canterbury criticises Just Stop Oil activists

by Alex Collett
Ronan Williams 1.png - Banner image

Rowan Williams, a former Archbishop of Canterbury has criticised Just Stop Oil activists (JSO), saying he would not "be throwing cans of soup on paintings."

The 72-year-old, who has previously supported climate activists such as Christians of Extinction Rebellion in Christian Climate Action and wants the government to do more about climate change, doesn't think JSO 's demonstrations are helping.

Following the Climate Repentance Ceremony in London last week, Lord Williams said: "I think in terms of tactics, it's not really doing many favours if I’m honest. But there are ironies here, I think, about what we value, what we care about.

"Somebody spoke recently after one of the Just Stop Oil attacks about the vulnerability of great works of art and I thought: 'well, yes, quite.' 

"But we're talking about the vulnerability of a global system here and the frustration one finds in this expression. That sort of activism [JSO’s] is understandable. I find it, as I say, in terms of tactics and strategy, not particularly helpful.

"It doesn't seem to win people to the cause. Occasionally people will respond by saying, well we understand the urgency a bit better, but I find difficulty with it.

"When people sense urgency and react rapidly, they don't always react in a way that's most constructive.

"I'd like the action taken to be one that draws more people in and allows more realistic decisions and more widespread ownership of this.... I've already said that I’ve got problems with it, but I'm not going to be throwing cans of soup, paintings."

Speaking to the Telegraph a spokesman for JSO thinks diferently to Lord Williams and said: "We know that Rowan Williams understands the need for civil resistance and has joined actions with Extinction Rebellion. 

"Maybe he should reacquaint himself with the clergy and Christians that have been arrested and imprisoned repeatedly this year for taking action with Just Stop Oil. They believe that life is precious and they have refused to walk by on the other side and see the suffering and destruction caused by oil and gas."

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us
Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email