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Barclays die-in Croydon.jpeg
Christian Climate Action
Barclays die-in Croydon.jpeg
Christian Climate Action
UK News

Vicars and clergy spray paint windows and block traffic in Barclays climate protests

by Sophie Drew

Vicars have joined fellow climate protestors outside Barclays banks on highstreets up and down the United Kingdom.

They claim the banking chain is the UK and Europe's largest financier of fossil fuels, investing nearly £20b last year.

Protestors have stood outside 100 branches across the UK, holding banners, handing out flyers and pretending to "die" from the impacts of climate change. 

The clergy belong to a sub-group of Extinction Rebellion, Christian Climate Action (CCA).

Two Christians in Birmingham have spray painted the windows of one branch, which now bares the words "Europe's biggest fossil fuel financier."  Another CCA member in Lincoln blocked traffic by sitting in the road. 

Rev Jon Swales MBE, a Lighthouse Mission Priest, has been holding a vigil and singing hymns outside a Barclays in Leeds. 

He said: "Climate breakdown is a justice issue. Unless things change dramatically it will lead to a future of mass starvation, mass migration and societal collapse. As a Christian I am called to love my neighbour. This is embodied by showing kindness and compassion towards the victims of climate breakdown but also by enacting a prophetic tradition which speaks truth to corporations, banks and financial institutions which plunge us further towards worst case scenarios".

Rev Helen Burnett, the vicar of St Peter and St Paul's Church in Chaldon, who is protesting in Surrey, said: "As Christian's we are called to navigate the world according to the teachings of Jesus.

"When Jesus overturned the tables of the moneylenders in the Temple, he was disrupting the norms of an economic system that was corrupt.

"Barclay's ways of working in this world are deeply corrupt and corrosive - as they are continuing to use a model of investment that damages the Earth. 

"We aim to shine a light on Barclays complicity in climate degradation and overturn their tables which sit unchallenged on our highstreets"

Premier has contacted Barclays UK press office for comment.

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