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Climate Sunday: giving a voice to local churches

Posted in: Articles, Blog

We’re marking World Environment Day with the launch of Climate Sunday, an initiative organised by Churches Together in Britain and Ireland with support from Operation Noah and other charities including CAFOD, Christian Aid, Tearfund and A Rocha UK.

We’re encouraging local churches to hold a local Climate Sunday at any time during the 12 months starting on 6 September 2020 (the first Sunday in the annual season of Creationtide). Climate Sunday will provide free resources to suit every tradition and style of worship to help each church do this. During their local Climate Sunday, we invite each church to do one or more of three things: 

  1. Climate service: 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.
  2. Commit: Make a commitment as a local church community to taking long term action to reduce its own greenhouse gas emissions.
  3. Call: Join with other churches and wider society by adding its name to a common call 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 5 September 2021, to share church commitments and pray for bold action and courageous leadership at COP26. 

More than 3,400* local churches are already registered with the main church greening schemes, but with the climate crisis accelerating and the UK due to host the rescheduled 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.

Director of Global Advocacy at Tearfund, Dr Ruth Valerio, author of Saying Yes to Life: The Archbishop of Canterbury’s 2020 Lent Book, 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’ve 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.’

Chief Executive of A Rocha UK, Andy Atkins, and chair of the coalition, said: ‘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.’

Register for Climate Sunday 

Read a blog about Climate Sunday by Andy Atkins, CEO of A Rocha UK and Chair of the Climate Sunday Steering Group.

* As of 31 May 2020, more than 3,400 of the UK’s 50,000 churches were members of one of the following schemes: Eco Church (England and Wales) 2,800; Eco Congregation Scotland 500 and Ireland; Live Simply (Catholic Churches in England and Wales) 120 parishes.

May Newsletter out now

Posted in: Articles, Newsletters

Read our May Newsletter

We have news of our online AGM and Supporters’ Event, a webinar based on our new Bright Now report and an update on Climate Sunday.

To receive future newsletters straight to your inbox, please use the email sign-up form on the left or click here.

Working together for a just and green recovery

Posted in: Articles, Blog

At Operation Noah we believe in working alongside others to achieve a better world. In the past month we’ve been co-signatories on a number of letters calling for a just and green recovery from COVID-19.

  • RSPB and the Green Alliance organised an open letter on a green recovery to the Prime Minister. Amongst other things, the letter called on the Prime Minister to create a more resilient economy that contributes to a climate-safe future and to build global ambition on tackling the climate crisis and restoring nature by bringing global leaders together in the run-up to COP26 in Glasgow in 2021. Read the letter.
  • Biofuelwatch organised a letter responding to a consultation on the future of biomass subsidies. Biofuelwatch are calling for an end to subsidies for high carbon biomass power in the UK. Operation Noah supporters are welcome to participate in this consultation too, although you’ll need to be quick as it closes on 29th May. More information.
  • We co-signed a letter to First Minister in Scotland, calling for the country to lead on a radical response to the double crises of climate change and Coronavirus. This letter was organised by Friends of the Earth Scotland.
  • We co-signed a statement stating that the phase out of fossil fuel production is a key pillar for a Just Recovery. The statement was organised by Global Gas and Oil Network.

The Church Still Needs to Lead on Action on Climate Change

Posted in: Articles, Blog, News
Date posted: 23 April 2020

A new poll has found that almost half the public believe the Government should respond with the same urgency to climate change as it has with Covid-19. Forty-eight per cent of those polled agreed with this statement, with only 28 per cent disagreeing.

The poll, which was carried out by Opinium and commissioned by the Compassion in Politics Podcast, provides a green light to the Government to take strong action to tackle the climate crisis, even as we also tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

At the same time, a YouGov poll commissioned by The Royal Society of Arts, found that only nine per cent of the population want life to return to normal after lockdown. The overwhelming majority, 85 per cent, would like us to learn from lockdown and retain some of the personal and social changes we have gained, such as cleaner air, stronger communities and seeing more wildlife.

Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the RSA, said: ‘Amid the awful news and general doom, we must use this time to imagine a better future. This poll shows that the British people are increasingly aware that the health of people and planet are inseparable and it’s time for radical environmental, social, political and economic change.’

At Operation Noah we believe the Church, as stewards of creation, needs to lead on taking drastic action on climate change. The pandemic, and subsequent lockdown in many countries, is estimated to reduce global carbon emissions by 5.5 per cent in 2020, yet scientists are calling for cuts of 7.6 per cent every year to keep global average temperatures from rising above 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. Clearly, we have a long way to go. We have joined a number of other organisations in calling for a ‘Just Recovery’ from Covid-19 which puts the welfare of people and planet at its heart. Individuals can also sign up to this call – will you join us?

Newsletter and volunteer sign-up form (print version)

Posted in: Articles

We have created a simple sign-up form for people who would like to receive our newsletters by email or who are interested in getting more involved in our activities and campaigns. Please take this form to any relevant meetings or events you are attending and encourage people to sign up.

Download PDF.

‘Climate change and the purposes of God’ signatories and supporters

Posted in: Articles

Leading church figures, across the denominations, signed ‘Climate change and the purposes of God: a call to the Church’. Read more

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