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Bell tolls throughout Grafton for climate justice

Emma Pritchard For whom the bell tolls is a common phrase which refers to the passing of a loved one, but on March 11, the bell at the Grafton Christ Church Cathedral tolled solemnly not to signify the loss of a life, but to promote awareness and send an important message for the future. The Very Reverend Dr Greg Jenks, Dean of Grafton said the event coincided with the cathedral participating in a rolling wave of actions by communities of faith around the world entitled Sacred People, Sacred Earth. As the largest global climate justice day of action, ‘Sacred People, Sacred Earth’ was held to raise awareness of the worsening climate emergency countries and individual communities are presently facing around the world as local economies are stimulated in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Faith communities around the world united to sound the alarm for the climate and call for climate justice as the clocks struck 11am. Numerous places of worship, faith-based groups and households participated in Sacred People, Sacred Earth in their own way by either ringing bells, sounding a note on the shofar, calling the Azan, chanting and meditating. Dr Jenks said while we each have our own traditions, we were united in one clear message to raise awareness of the seriousness of climate change. “The fact that more than one quarter of the global events happened in Australia reflects the high level of concern in this country about the environment, climate change and justices for those people who will lose land and livelihoods due to global warming,” he said. “All state governments are taking action to reach zero carbon emissions as soon as possible, but sadly, not the Commonwealth. “They are being left behind as the people move ahead of the government.” Dr Jenks said there were more than 130 events across Australia on March 11 which were among more than 400 which took place around the world as 11am local time passed by. “Grafton Cathedral was happy to play a small part in this major interfaith grassroots event,” he said. “Together with friends in other faith communities, we are passionate about caring for our beautiful planet which we understand is a precious gift from God. “We are committed to being a “Green Cathedral” so that we practice what we preach, as it were, and we are currently documenting our decisions from the past 20 years or more so that the current Parish leadership is aware of those commitments and can see where we can now go further.” The Grafton Christ Church Cathedral bell sounded for one minute and was streamed online at