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Priest pays council double his fine for climate protest

16 September 2022

CHRISTIAN CLIMATE ACTION

The Revd Bill White (seated, right) at the protest at Kingsbury Oil Depot, in May

The Revd Bill White (seated, right) at the protest at Kingsbury Oil Depot, in May

A PRIEST has “turned the other cheek” by opting to pay double the required fine for his involvement in a climate protest earlier this year.

The Revd Bill White, a retired priest in Macclesfield, spent a week in prison and was fined £250 by North Warwickshire Borough Council, after his involvement in an action to block Kingsbury Oil Depot in May.

At the time, Mr White described the motivation behind his involvement in the Just Stop Oil protest: “I am here because the Government is failing to meet its legal and moral obligations to the rest of us. We are simply asking that, as a first step, we do not give permission for any new fossil-fuel projects.

“Pouring more oil on a burning world is both mad and immoral. I see this non-violent civil resistance as the outworking of such costly love as God is calling us to.”

In a letter to North Warwickshire Borough Council, on Thursday of last week, Mr White wrote that, as a member of the clergy, he was expected “to stand up for truth and justice, and to act consistent with the values and principles of the Christian way”.

He wrote that “being faithful to that calling leads me to challenge your injunction as immoral”, but that, in light of Jesus’s call in the Sermon on the Mount, he would pay double the required amount.

He asked that the extra be held “on my account”, as it might “save some administration time if you find yourselves making another similar claim”, or to “reduce the claims you have on others from Just Stop Oil”.

Mr White ended his letter with an expression of hope that “you all come to your senses sooner rather than later, and truly start protecting the residents of your borough rather than the oil companies who are driving us to an unliveable future”.

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