Climate Sunday launched
Churches are being urged to focus on climate change in an initiative launched today (June 5) to mark World Environment Day.
From holding a climate focused service to calling for bolder government action, churches are asked to take part in the Climate Sunday year-long campaign ahead of the COP26 climate meeting in 2021.
It starts on September 6, the first Sunday in the annual season of Creationtide, and is being organised by Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, with support from charities including CAFOD, Christian Aid, Tearfund, A Rocha UK, and Operation Noah.
Churches are encouraged to hold a local Climate Sunday any time during the year and there will be free resources to suit every tradition and style of worship. They are invited to:
- Hold a climate-focused service, to explore the theological and scientific basis of creation care and action on climate, to pray, and to commit to action.
- Make a commitment as a local church community to taking long term action to reduce its own greenhouse gas emissions.
- Join with other churches and wider society in calling for the UK government to take much bolder action on climate change in this country in advance of COP26, and to strengthen its credibility to lead the international community to adopt a step change in action at COP26.
The culmination of the campaign will be a national Climate Sunday event on Sunday 5th September 2021, to share church commitments and pray for bold action and courageous leadership at COP26.
Chief Executive of A Rocha UK, Andy Atkins, and chair of the coalition, said,
“With the climate crisis accelerating and the UK due to host the COP26 climate talks in November 2021 in Glasgow, we believe the time has come for all churches across the UK to pray about and act on the climate crisis, as we have done in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our vision is to leave a lasting legacy of thousands of UK churches better equipped to address this critical issue as part of their normal discipleship and mission; and to make a very significant contribution to civil society efforts to secure adequate national and international action at the COP26 conference.”
Canon Carol Wardman, spokesperson for the Church in Wales’ environmental group, CHASE (Church Action for Sustaining the Environment), said,
“Our heightened appreciation of the nature over the past weeks has reminded us how precious is the natural environment around us. We have all enjoyed cleaner air, quieter roads, clearer skies, and hearing the song of the birds. But the extreme weather this year, with devastating winter floods followed by the driest spring on record, have brought home to us the impact of climate change. Climate Sunday is an opportunity to focus together on how we can better care for God’s creation, and remind ourselves that we must not treat protection of the environment as a luxury, but place it at the heart of our plans to recover from the pandemic emergency.
“We encourage all our churches to take part in whichever way they can.”
In 2017, the Church in Wales’ Governing Body passed a resolution that all dioceses and churches should achieve Eco Diocese or Eco Church accreditation. Several churches across the Province have now received the Silver award, and four out of our six dioceses are registered for accreditation.