Diocese of Portsmouth

    Bishop and former Archbishop pray for action on climate change

    Beyond our diocese
    16 March 2020

    BISHOP Christopher joined the former Archbishop of Canterbury to pray for our environment outside the Houses of Parliament.

    Our bishop joined former Archbishop Dr Rowan Williams, along with other bishops, peers and MPs (he is pictured above with Dr Williams and Amanda Mukwashi, chief executive of Christian Aid). Their prayer vigil called for action on climate change by the government.

    The event was part of a global prayer chain which is seeing people around the world praying for action to tackle the climate crisis, every day between the start of Lent and the COP26 climate summit taking place in Glasgow this November.

    Dr Williams, who is now chair of the development charity Christian Aid, said: “It’s clear that the impact of climate change on the poorest people in the world drives instability, injustice and conflict. Where climate justice is concerned, we’re summoned to acknowledge the consequences of our actions. Its only when we’re truthful of that, are we free to see clearly and act courageously.

    “We need the churches, we need our political leaders, we need civil society, we need our own hearts to be touched. If we are to respond effectively to the challenges of our world, we need to respond with our spirits cleared and our action open, courageous and lucid.”

    And Bishop Christopher said: “In our diocese, we are spending the season of Lent thinking about how Christians can make a difference when it comes to climate change. We’re sharing a different practical idea every day between Ash Wednesday and Good Friday to help individuals to make lasting differences to their lifestyles that will reduce their carbon footprints. The national Church of England has also committed to being zero carbon by 2030. But we also need the government to play its part in global initiatives to combat climate change.”

    He launched a Bishop’s Lent Appeal on Ash Wednesday, which is encouraging worshippers and non-churchgoers to reflect and pray for our planet; to take practical steps to change their lifestyles to reduce their impact on the environment; and to donate to local and global charities that are lobbying governments to tackle climate change. There are more details here.

    Also speaking at the vigil was 23-year-old activist Hannah Abban.

    She said: “Climate change is a human problem. Even as an activist, as I speak to you all today I stand here with privilege. I don’t go outside and see my crops have failed. I don’t live in a low-lying country where citizens live in perpetual fear. We can technically go on the way we are living in, wastefully and in luxury without having to fear immediate repercussions.

    “It’s important for us to educate ourselves on the problem at hand but also to explore solutions and what part we can play within the bigger picture. I am privileged to currently be part of Christian Aid’s Prophetic Activists scheme. A chance to put my faith into action and unite with likeminded people to create change.”

    People and churches can sign up to take part in the prayer chain by visiting www.caid.org.uk/prayerchain.

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