What a day.

On a beautiful sunny day in Westminster, 9000 people from around the UK came together to speak up for what they loved, to over 330 MPs. Find out what happened in our highlights video:

This was an incredible occasion of joy, celebration – and political significance. 2015 is a vital year, with climate negotiations coming up internationally, and a newly elected government in the UK, people were there to ask for action – now and for the years to come.

The last big lobby on climate change was before 2010, and more than half of MPs had never been lobbied in a high-profile way on the climate. Together, thousands of us changed that. We can be sure that every MP lobbied knows how much their constituents care about this issue that affects us all.

Read on to find out about the day as it happened… and find more photo highlights  in our picture gallery.

Thousands spoke up for what they love

People from all over the country were up bright and early on trains, buses – and even bikes! – to meet their MPs.

After months of planning, groups were ready for their chance to meet their representatives face-to-face.

The day brought together people from all walks of life, with one thing in common: they all love something that could be affected by climate change.

From farmers to surfers, beekeepers to doctors, anglers to nuns, they gathered outside Parliament to speak up for what they love…and it looked something like this:

The buzz began to build across Westminster, starting with two ecumenical services and an interfaith gathering in Archbishop’s Park. People added messages of faith and hope on a beautiful installation that grew throughout the day:

Meanwhile, inside Parliament,  George Osborne expressed his support for the lobby and the Government’s commitment to seeking a deal at climate talks in Paris in December.

Communities had spent weeks hand-crafting bunting with messages of love and to represent all those who couldn’t be there on the day.

Supporters3_(c)AmySheppey_ChristianAid

As 1pm approached, Westminster was thronged with constituents who’d come to speak up for all they love that could be lost to climate change.

_MG_0221

There was representation from across nations and regions across the UK:

MPs hopped in our rickshaws to meet their constituents in the lobby line.

NorthEast_Millbank_Lobbying Alec Shelbrooke_(c)ChristianAid

Meetings were held out in the sunshine all the way across Lambeth Bridge to Albert Embankment. As the afternoon wore on and ever more MPs heard their constituents’ concerns about climate change, the MP-ometer could hardly keep up:

Young people were out in force speaking up for their futures.

People spoke up for everything from bees, to chocolate, to communities around the world – and for future generations.

Millbank_LobbyQueue_(c)AmySheppey_ChristianAid

And it wasn’t just the 9000-strong crowd in Westminster making some noise for what they loved. People up and down the country were showing their support online.

#Fortheloveof was trending on Twitter all day, and in the afternoon the campaign was trending at number one in the UK. Over 2,500 people who couldn’t be there also sent messages to their MPs using our online tool.

The press were following the day too:

At 4.30, thousands gathered on Millbank for a rally to round off an incredible day of conversation and celebration.  Compered by comedian Arthur Smith, the crowds heard from faith leaders and future leaders, farmers and rowers, poets, grandparents and campaigners, and were treated to  a rousing finale from Stornoway.

560219409JP029_From_Farmers

But the day didn’t finish there. An evening event, hosted by Marks & Spencer, brought together representatives from business and civil society to hear the business case for a green economy from the likes of IKEA, M&S and Unilever.

They were joined by Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, the Rt. Hon. Amber Rudd MP, who expressed her support for the day’s events and outlined her hopes for a climate deal in Paris.

The message from the business panellists came across loud and clear: to drive a competitive low carbon transition and attract investment, the business community needs stable, sensible regulation, an effective carbon price, and a better story from government that brings all departments on board with this agenda.

The evening wasn’t without a few polite challenges to the government’s approach. Ms Rudd admitted that the department’s budget is tight and stewarding those resources is going to require tough decisions. The Government could learn a lot from companies’ insights into consumer behaviour and ways to get people on board with the low carbon transition, rather than assuming wind farms are disliked or that any cost will be unpopular.

And there was a strong message to all of us: the Secretary of State appealed for businesses and campaigners work together to keep politicians on the right track. “Without all three of those parts it’s going to be very difficult because politicians can’t deliver on the ambition without the public saying ‘We need you to do this’.”

It was a fitting finish to a fantastic day. To everyone who came to London to speak up, who got involved online, who shared, prayed, told friends and family – you made the day what it was.

2015’s a crucial year for climate action, and there’s more to come. Sign up for updates to find out how you can be involved.