Lichfield Cathedral takes centre stage in Midland climate change protests

Young people across the region staged protests over climate change as part of an international campaign.

Children form a ring around Lichfield Cathedral as part of the Global Climate Strike
Children form a ring around Lichfield Cathedral as part of the Global Climate Strike

A week-long series of events have been taking place to address the climate change issue, which the UK government declared as an emergency in May.

Rallies were held today in areas including Wolverhampton, Walsall and Lichfield as part of the Global Climate Strike.

Events are running until September 27, and they will coincide with the United Nation’s Climate Summit on Monday.

Children arrive at Lichfield Cathedral
The ring around the cathedral

At Lichfield Cathedral, hundreds schoolchildren and teachers took part in a short service.

The voiced their concerns about climate change and they planted wooden lollipop sticks outside the cathedral as part of the campaign.

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The event was organised by the Lichfield Diocese which has bishops in Lichfield, Wolverhampton, Stafford and Shrewsbury.

Dean of the Cathedral Adrian Dorber and Bishop of Wolverhampton Clive Gregory with some of the schoolchildren
The service inside the cathedral

The Bishop of Wolverhampton, the right reverend Clive Gregory, Lichfield Diocese’s lead on environmental matters, said: “It has been wonderful to see so many people at the cathedral and in churches across our diocese leading calls for climate justice.”

In Walsall, around 100 activists gathered at the Sister Dora Fountain, in Park Street.

The event was organised by the Walsall branch of Friends of the Earth, in collaboration with Extinction Rebellion and the Trades Union Congress.

Climate change protesters in Walsall town centre

Martin Normanton, aged 73, from Walsall, who is the Walsall branch’s spokesman, said: “I am concerned by climate change and particularly how it will affect my children and grandchildren.

"It will really affect our grandchildren if we don’t do anything about the problem now.”

Meanwhile there was a smaller gathering in Queen Square, Wolverhampton.

Climate change protesters in Walsall town centre

The Wolverhampton protest was organised by a group called Faith Climate Action, in collaboration with Rebellion Extinction Black Country. It was held at Queens Square.

Reverend Ros Wilshire, who helped organise the protest, said: "We are now at a point where we can no longer talk about whether climate change is happening, this is now the point where climate change is happening and we need to act radically.

"We need to see government and multi-nationals really step up how they go about business."

Climate change is defined as the large and long-term change in the planet’s weather patterns and the rise in average temperatures.

The issue of climate change has hit the headlines for political reasons in recent years, with some politicians questioning the subject. Mr Normanton continued: “I say to those politicians they are short sighted.”

Asked he believed the impacts of climate change could be reversed, Mr Normanton said: “Yes. Scientists are investigating whether they can remove carbon from the atmosphere. It looks promising.”

Eddie Izzard joined protesters in Birmingham. He tweeted: “Great to be meeting the young and the young at heart at the march in Birmingham.”

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