The Archbishop of Canterbury is urging churches to use Environment Sunday (June 7) to pray for the planet and campaign for climate change in the run up to the important UN talks later this year in Copenhagen.
Dr Williams said it was vital for Christians and people of all faiths to take a lead in praying and campaigning for action. A new deal at the UN summit could directly improve the lives of the world’s poor whose living conditions are affected by climate change. (see full text below)
World Environment Day marks the third anniversary of the Church of England’s environmental campaign Shrinking the Footprint which is being marked by a national event at Lambeth Palace on June 11 where new toolkits and other resources will be unveiled to help churches, cathedrals and other buildings reduce their energy footprint. The next phase of the campaign focusing on water and biodiversity will also be unveiled.
Nearly all dioceses now have an environment officer with many promoting their own green policies to cut the carbon in every parish. The Archbishop will be in St Edmundsbury and Ipswich Diocese this Friday (June 5) to officially launch its new environment policy. A range of green projects are already supported by local churches across the Suffolk area from a bicycle and rickshaw scheme to solar panels on a medieval church building.
The Bishop of London the Rt Revd Richard Chartres Chair of Shrinking the Footprint said: “Climate change is a global challenge, the impact of which is being felt first by some of the most vulnerable communities on our planet. Loving our neighbour in the 21st Century demands that we should be involved in the effort to mitigate climate change and to help our neighbours to adapt.
“Environment Sunday is a time for us to reflect on the challenges ahead and to look forward to the Shrinking the Footprint event on the 11th June 2009. This will both provide an opportunity to deepen our own commitment and to engage with our politicians”.
God said, ‘Let the waters be gathered together,
and let dry land appear.’
We thank you for the beauty of the earth,
for the diversity of land and sea,
for the resources of the earth.
Give us the will to cherish this planet
and to use its riches for the good and welfare of all.
God of life:
hear our prayer.