I’m not a natural protestor. For COP28, though, I’m initiating a campaign. It’s simple, peaceful, symbolic: drive more slowly. 55 cruising speed, 20 near homes, schools and shops. And a window sticker: SLOW DOWN FOR THE PLANET.

Is campaigning about fossil fuels part of my faith? Let’s be clear: it’s science, not religion, that persuades me that greenhouse gases need to be drastically reduced. There are Christians who chain themselves to railings to Stop Oil; there are Christians who deny climate change. Both can be in good faith.

Our faith, though, does tell us to care for God’s creation. All things are a gift from the Father, redeemed and reconciled through his Son, given life by his Spirit. We are called to gratitude, gentleness, generosity, not to wealth, power, status or speed.

Simple, thoughtful living has always been a mark of serious Christian faith. Our faith also tells us to judge how we should live with intelligence, attentiveness and integrity, and to act on that judgement. If that leads me to believe – as it does in my case – that we urgently need to phase out fossil fuels, then I must act accordingly.

Climate aside, slowing down is just good for us: cleaner air, fewer accidents, less asthma, calmer minds, safer pedestrians, even lower bills! Not only our beautiful planet, but also our beautiful county, can only benefit. Just swap one letter and ‘protestor’ becomes ‘protector’. Protecting our common home for our fellow-children of God is certainly part of our faith.

Written by Sr Margaret Atkins of Boarbank Hall, Allithwaite.

To share an insight about how faith impacts your view of things, please contact:  faithviewpoint@gmail.com.