We all want to save for a rainy day, but what if our money is causing a storm?
On Thursday 14 March, Canon Paul Nelson along with members of St Michael’s Church, Beccles and Rev Andy Wolton with members of St John’s, Saxmundham visited their local branches of HSBC to hand in letters to the CEO. They are calling on the bank to take more action to tackle damaging climate change which is hitting the poorest hardest.
This is part of a national campaign by Christian Aid to visit every branch of HSBC in the country during Lent. It is hoping local campaigners visit all eight remaining HSBC branches in Suffolk.
Christian Aid is asking that HSBC, which has lagged beyond three of the Big Four UK banks, to make a clear commitment to stop financing coal-fired power stations globally but particularly in countries where climate change is having its worst effects – the very countries which Christian Aid partners are working in to help farmers adapt to drought and excessive rainfall.
Canon Paul Nelson, of St Michael’s Church said, “Most of us as individuals and churches use banks and would like to think that our money could be helping to build a cleaner, safer world. Instead, a lot of our money, through the bank’s investment policy, could still be used to finance new coal-fired power plants, harming people around the world and putting all of our futures at risk – especially those of our children and grandchildren”.
Rev Andy Wolton of St John’s Church said, “We’ve been given this world and are learning more and more just what it is to be good stewards of it. As individuals, we often feel that we can do little to make a difference. However, we have a voice and, unlike those in other parts of the world, we have the freedom for it to be heard in ways which can make a difference. That is why we call on HSBC to make a difference and change its policy so that we can make the Big Shift away from dependence on fossil fuels.”
Simon Snell, Regional Coordinator for Christian Aid in Suffolk who accompanied the churches said, “Speaking out and taking action on poverty and injustice is a key part to the way we live out the Gospel message. I’m inviting people in South East Suffolk on 21 March and West Suffolk on 28 March to visit local branches with me if you can, or get in touch if your church would like to find out more about this campaign and maybe organise an HSBC visit in your town – especially Lowestoft and Sudbury”.