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/ 21 February 2012

Operation Noah declaration on climate change

The Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, has joined leaders representing most of the UK’s mainstream churches in signing a declaration calling on Christians to redouble their efforts to tackle climate change.

In a meeting at the Bishop’s residence (pictured), Bishop Richard was joined by the Chair of Operation Noah, Dr Isabel Carter, the Revd Joel Edwards, International Director of Micah Challenge, Sister Louisa Poole of the Catholic Bishops Conference and Triumph Ayo-Isegun, leader of the Methodist Church’s work on climate change for a discussion of the pledges.

The declaration is framed around seven biblical themes and argues that to be a Christian is to accept the call to radical discipleship and to work through the implications for church life of a real change in lifestyle.

It was also signed by the Most Revd Desmond Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town, the Rt Hon Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd Barry Morgan, Archbishop of Wales, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh and leaders of the Methodist, Baptist and URC churches.

A short public service of prayer and dedication to launch the Declaration will be held at St Mary-Le-Bow, Cheapside at 5pm on Ash Wednesday, 22 February, and at numerous churches around the country.

Mary Grey, Emeritus Professor of Theology at the University of Wales, believes the Declaration – subtitled Climate Change and the Purposes of God: a call to the Church – comes at a key moment:

"A second Earth Summit is being prepared and the world seems apathetic towards the real threat to all planetary life."

Bishop David, who leads Operation Noah’s theological think tank, points to specific, historical confessions calling the Church back to its biblical and theological foundations – notably, the Barmen Declaration of the confessing church in Nazi Germany.

Bishop David said:

"Various confessions also addressed apartheid in South Africa. We believe that this is a time of urgency for the church. The threat of runaway climate change is the most significant moral question facing us today."

Operation Noah’s Ash Wednesday Declaration.

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