On Wednesday 15 May, hundreds of priests, nuns, friars and vicars met MPs in a mass lobby of parliament in support of the Enough Food For Everyone IF campaign. Deacon David Arblaster from Harrogate was part of the lobby and here’s his account of the day.
Judging from their reaction I don’t think the policemen on duty at the House of Commons had ever seen such an army of Priests, Nuns, Monks and Friars descend on Westminster, not to mention at least this one Deacon. After a rousing opening Liturgy led amongst others by Timothy Radcliffe, the 300 strong ‘Pilgrimage of Grace’ arrived in Westminster Hall to be greeted by Alan Duncan Minister of State for International Development. Alan assured us that the Government is going to stick to its 0.7% of GDP for Aid commitment and wants to make progress on Nutrition, but needs people like us to keep up the pressure. Ed Miliband and the shadow minister for International Development had a similar message and were particularly complementary about CAFOD’s work. Most of us met our MPs; my own MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough, Andrew Jones, was very positively disposed to the campaign. Overall I was very impressed with Cafod’s organisation of this event and in the closing event Sarah Teather said her fellow MP’s were clearly impressed too and thanked us for caring enough to come and lobby them.
Deacon David Arblaster, Westminster (and St Aelred’s Harrogate!)