A COALITION of churches and charities has launched a campaign, Climate Sunday, as part of a call for action on climate change.
Starting from 6 September, churches will be encouraged to have a Sunday devoted to the theme of climate change at any time during the following 12 months. The scheme was announced last Friday, to mark World Environment Day, by Churches Together in Britain and Ireland. It supported charities which include CAFOD, Christian Aid, Operation Noah, and Tearfund.
Free resources are being provided to encourage churches to hold a climate-focused service, make a commitment as a community to reducing greenhouse-gas emissions in the long term, or join other churches and groups, before the 26th UN climate-change conference (COP26) in November, in urging the Government to do more about climate change.
The campaign will conclude with a national Climate Sunday event on 5 September 2021 to pray for action on global warming.
The Bishop of Salisbury, the Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, the C of E’s lead bishop on environmental issues, said: “Although our focus has been shifted from climate change in recent months by the challenges of responding to Covid-19, the climate crisis has not gone away, and the driest May since records began is a timely reminder of this.
“Climate Sunday will be a brilliant resource to help Church of England parishes understand and respond to the climate crisis. As we work out the actions we need to take to cut our carbon emissions every year to reach net zero emissions by 2030, Climate Sunday will motivate, encourage, and inspire our churches to keep going on this journey.”
The Bishop of Salford, the Rt Revd John Arnold, the Roman Catholic Bishops’ Conference’s lead bishop on the environment, said: “We need to recognise the damage we’re doing to the environment and our failure to look after our brothers and sisters in our common home. In a post-pandemic world, the Climate Sunday project is an excellent opportunity for Catholic parishes in England and Wales, as well as our ecumenical brothers and sisters, to understand responsibility to heal our planet and to pray and act in response to the climate emergency.”
Tearfund’s director of global advocacy, Dr Ruth Valerio, said: “The current crisis has changed the way we see the world. It has reminded us of the fragility of life, exposed the gap between rich and poor, and revealed the damage we have done to the wider creation. But it has also helped us love our neighbours, and brought communities together.
“Climate Sunday is a great opportunity to respond to these societal shifts, to pause and reimagine what life could be like, to commit to living differently ourselves, and to call on the UK Government to rebuild our economy in a way that tackles the climate emergency and builds a better world for everyone.”