16 February 2024

No Faith In Fossil Fuels: Standing against apathy

Amy Bayliss-Fox

A photo of a brass band playing at the vigil

Cadet Amy Bayliss-Fox shares why she’s taking part in the No Faith in Fossil Fuels Vigil for Climate Justice.

Growing up I always heard that we should recycle, we should reduce our water usage and we should be mindful about the rubbish we produce. I always heard that this was up to us as individuals. But I had no idea of the environmental impact being made by big corporations and governments.

It wasn’t until I was at university and took part in a green award audit for the student union that I became aware of the importance of sustainability – not just at a personal level but on a wider scale.

While attending the 2022 Churches Together in England Forum, I listened to a talk by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, who spoke about reconciliation being a deliberate choice. He said that true reconciliation cannot come from the outside – it had to come from within. There was also a talk by environmentalist and theologian Dr Ruth Valerio, who raised the point that the opposite of love is not hate, it’s apathy.

The whole forum was a ‘road to Emmaus’ experience for me and how I think about caring for creation. It reconciled my thoughts about sustainability with my faith and lit a fire in my heart to speak up for reconciliation between humanity and the creation we were tasked to care for.

Eva Rouffet leading the Ash Wednesday service
Eva Rouffet, a member of the newly formed Territorial Justice and Reconciliation Youth Forum, led prayers at the ecumenical Ash Wednesday service

That’s why, alongside fellow Salvationists, Christians and activists, I am joining the No Faith in Fossil Fuel Vigil for Climate Justice between 14 and 24 February. It began on Ash Wednesday with a service where we dedicated the vigil to God and focused our thoughts and intentions. 

We then made our way to Parliament Square to prayerfully protest and stand up against the use of fossil fuels and stand up for a deeper focus on caring for creation.

I am participating in this vigil because I believe we are mandated by God to care for the world he lovingly placed us in. We do not own this land; the Earth is not ours to destroy as we see fit. As it says in Psalm 24:1, ‘The Earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.’

We live on a beautiful planet, so let’s stand up for it, let’s protect it for future generations and glorify God through the way that we care for the creation he has made.

A photo of protesters in Parliament Square
The vigil began on Ash Wednesday in Parliament Square

Pause and reflect

Read these lyrics from ‘For the Beauty of the Earth’ (SASB 14). 

  • How do you respond to the wonder of God’s creation?

For the beauty of the Earth,
For the beauty of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies,
Father, unto thee we raise
This our sacrifice of praise.

For each perfect gift of thine
To our race so freely given,
Graces human and divine,
Flowers of Earth and buds of Heaven,
Father, unto thee we raise
This our sacrifice of praise.

Written by

A photo of Amy Bayliss-Fox.

Amy Bayliss-Fox


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