Christian Climate Action Agape Meal

Christian Climate Action: ‘Art Not Oil’ Agape Meal

Thanks to Ruth Jarman of CCA and Fr Martin Newell for this story. Photographs used with permission from the Christian Climate Action Facebook page.

On Sunday 13th September 2015, a ‘festival of protest’ took place at the British Museum. The day involved a series of demonstrations to protest BP sponsoring the museum, which displays the BP logo prominently and receives 1% of its budget from the company.

Activists commonly complain that by associating with such an entity as BP, the British Museum’s good name is tarnished, and the museum is on the wrong side of history regarding sponsorship from oil companies.

Christian Climate Action Agape MealAs Christian Climate Action, we were invited to take part. However, as Christians, we felt that oil companies are not the only principalities and powers to be resisted. Therefore, we wanted to not only ask the British Museum to withdraw from its relationship with BP, but to also reconsider the narrative it is propagating.

The British Museum is itself a questionable institution; in the business of normalising the British imperial outlook, celebrating and entrenching our inglorious past.

To remove BP from the British Museum in the hope of furthering the kingdom of heaven on earth, would be like plucking an apple from an apple tree to rid the world of fruit.

The breaking of bread and sharing of wine, with shared liturgy, was done while occupying the museum’s cafe in the main hall. We were the first ‘act’ of the day so the museum was pretty quiet – we just sat down at a table and began.

This Agape meal seemed fitting for several reasons. Our ecumenical group of Christians all understood the common table of Christ to be antithetical to the imperial outlook promoted throughout the museum, and so our meal could serve as an embodied prophetic counter-narrative.

Christian Climate Action Agape MealIn addition, since it was done on Sunday morning, it was hoped that the meal would be recognisable to passers-by and might be understood by them. The meal we shared was an obviously Christian part of a day of creative prophetic action against evil and falsehood. It was open to anyone who wanted to join.

 

Supporters handed out fliers to the public, and people were curious and interested. Fr Martin Newell, who took part in the protest, commented on the meal as part of the wider ‘festival of protest’:

“I think it was effective in questioning the sponsorship of the British Museum and the other institutions by BP as a massive fossil fuel company, and also in witnessing to the Christian concern about climate change and the protection of the environment generally, and our participation with the wider climate movement.”

Christian Climate Action Agape Meal

About Christian Climate Action

From the Christian Climate Action website:

“Christian Climate Action is a community of Christians supporting each other in following Jesus Christ in the face of imminent and catastrophic anthropogenic climate change, in acts of non-violent direct action.”

To find out more about CCA and how you can get involved, visit the Christian Climate Action website or their Facebook page.

The liturgy used in the ‘Art Not Oil’ Agape meal can be found on our Liturgies page.

 

 

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