*** DEBUG END ***

Faith leaders take Government to task on Sustainable Development Goals

23 November 2018

Bishops sign letter calling for a coherent plan


The letter draws attention to the concerns of faith leaders over the reliance on foodbanks in the UK

The letter draws attention to the concerns of faith leaders over the reliance on foodbanks in the UK

THREE Church of England bishops are among a coalition of religious leaders who have written to the Prime Minister to urge greater collaboration to drive forward the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Bishop of Durham, the Rt Revd Paul Butler; the Bishop of Liverpool, the Rt Revd Paul Bayes; and the Bishop of Bedford, the Rt Revd Richard Atkinson have signed the letter, along with the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Michael Jackson, and leaders of other Christian denominations, and the Jewish, Sikh, Hindu, Muslim, and Buddhist faiths.

The letter, published on Monday, draws attention to the concerns of these faith leaders over the reliance on foodbanks, growing obesity rates and ill-health, and loss of opportunities in communities across the UK.

It was organised by USPG, and reads: “In 2018 the UK Stakeholders for Sustainable Development published a report which shows that people and places in the UK are being left behind.

“For the first time we can see what’s happening for people, in our environment and in our economy in one place — thanks to the integrated natures of the SDGs. Only 24 per cent of the SDG targets are on track to be achieved in the UK. We believe that we can do better.”

It calls on the Government to: produce a coherent plan for the SDGs and work collaboratively with them; act on its duty to enable local responses to the SDGs, including working closely with those communities of faith and belief; and appoint a minister for the SDGs.

The letter concludes: “Together we can build a fairer, sustainable, and more prosperous Britain.”

Bishop Atkinson said: “At a time when there is so much in the news about divisions in our nation and in the world, we are seeking to demonstrate that faith communities in the UK are already working for the betterment of our society, and the world, and looking forward to working alongside Government and the British people in taking the vitally important Sustainable Development Goals forward.”

Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

Forthcoming Events


Church Times Month

March 2024

For the whole of March, Church Times is offering completely FREE online access, so you can share stories without a paywall.

We are also asking our readers to spread the news of the Church Times among their friends, acquaintances, and fellow churchgoers (and non-churchgoers).

Find out more


Keeping faith in Journalism: a Church Times Webinar

11 March 2024 | 6pm GMT

An expert panel discusses trust between the media and the public

Online Tickets available


Church Times/RSCM:

Festival of Faith and Music

26 - 28 April 2024

See the full programme on the festival website. 

Early bird tickets available


Green Church Awards

Closing date: 30 June 2024

Read more details about the awards


Welcome to the Church Times


You are able to read this for FREE as part of Church Times Promotional Month, where for the whole of March, we are offering unlimited web access to the newspaper.

From next month to explore the Church Times website fully, you will need to sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers will return to only being able to read four articles for free each month.