A delegation from the Derry and Raphoe Diocese teamed up with Christian Aid this week to lobby Foyle MP Mark Durkan about issues of global concern including emergency disaster relief.
Climate and debt forgiveness were also on the agenda during the meeting at Mr Durkan’s constituency office on Bishop Street.
The meeting was organised by Christian Aid’s Education and Campaigns Coordinator, Dave Thomas, who led the church delegation.
The diocesan representatives who accompanied him at the meeting included Albert Smallwoods and Sylvia Donnell from the Bishops’ Appeal committee; Rev Arthur Burns, Pastoral Assistant Glendermott and Newbuildings; and Derry and Raphoe’s Youth Officer, Martin Montgomery.
Mr Montgomery told the MP that the issue of climate change, in particular, was of huge interest and importance to young people in the diocese. “This is about their future and their children’s future,” he said.
Member of the delegation shared their personal experiences from visits to countries such as India, Kenya and Mauritius, where they had witnessed the impact of climate change at first hand.
Mr Durkan explained that he was sympathetic to many of the delegation’s aims, including securing “ambitious climate change outcomes “ at the Sustainable Developments Goals summit in September and the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change summit in November.
“We need to get beyond ‘lip service,” he said. “This issue requires a combined mobilisation across party lines and across regions”.
He stressed that the burden should not be allowed to fall on poorer, less developed countries and thanked Christian Aid for helping to mobilise towards action.