Catholics across the England and Wales are making sure that their voices are heard on major global issues, by organising virtual meetings with their local MPs to discuss tackling issues on climate change, unjust foreign debts, and how we can rebuild after the pandemic.
Dubbed, ‘Parliament in Your Parish’ – it is a new initiative run by overseas development charity CAFOD.
Andrea Speranza, Campaigns Engagement Manager at CAFOD, said:
“By organising an online meeting with their MPs, Catholics can play a vital role in ensuring that politicians put the poorest communities at the heart of these meetings.
“With over 5.5 million Catholics in the UK, we have a responsibility to use our voices to create a better post-pandemic world.
“As a result of the pandemic, 150 million people are set to fall into extreme poverty. But with two major international meetings this year – G7 in June and COP26 in November – to be hosted by our Government, gives the UK a unique opportunity to become a force for good.”
Abigail McMillan from St Mary’s Pariah in Harborne who started a ‘Parliament in Your Parish’ in her local community and met with her local MP on Monday 26 July , says:
“The meeting was so full of information and enthusiasm, which is a great motivation to do more”. Abigail adds: “Preet’s enthusiasm is infectious and her knowledge is exceptional. It challenges all of us to get on with it”
In response to the ‘Parliament in Your Parish’ initiative local MP for Edgbaston, Preet Gill said:
“One thing that is great about my job is talking to people who are really interested in climate an you are all doing a great job”. Ms Gill added ” People ask me, does it matter if I write to my MP? Yes it does, don’t assume someone else is writing to their MP about this… it is so important to contact your MP, we want to hear that you care.”
Inspired by the words of Pope Francis in his second encyclical Laudato Si: “Unless citizens control political power – national, regional and municipal – it will not be possible to control damage to the environment…”
Parishioners across England and Wales are heeding the call of Pope Francis and rallying to come to together to push their MPs to respond to pressing global issues of the day.