14 arrested after Christian climate protest inside St Paul's Cathedral

(Photo: Christian Climate Action)

There were arrests inside St Paul's Cathedral on Sunday after 14 Christians held a protest calling on the Church of England to divest from fossil fuels.

Following Sunday morning's Eucharist service, protesters with Christian Climate Action unfurled banners in front of the altar with the words 'No faith in fossil fuels' and 'Churches divest now'.

Banners bearing the same message were also displayed by several dozen protesters outside the cathedral.

The protesters demanded that the Church of England completely divest from fossil fuel companies by 31 December, and that it call for immediate action to address irreversible harm caused by climate change.

It was part of wider protests in London over the weekend by Extinction Rebellion targeting 'blood money' in the City of London.

The protesters at St Paul's included members of the clergy.

The Rev Canon Jonathan Herbert said: "The Church Commissioners and Pension Board rightly don't invest in companies producing arms or tobacco, but surely investing in fossil fuels, with what we now know, is almost as deadly.

"It's time for the Church Commissioners to take a lead and divest from death-dealing fossil fuels."

Rev Tim Hewes said, "The Pensions Board and the Church Commissioners, by investing in fossil fuels, mistakenly believe that they can steer these all-powerful companies towards climate friendly policies.

"After years of engagement we know it's not working. These companies are deaf to the entreaties of the church. We need to divest."

All 14 Christians involved in the protest inside the cathedral were arrested.

St Paul's Cathedral and the Church of England have been contacted for comment.