22 February 2012
Leaders representing most of the UK's mainstream churches have
today called for repentance over the prevailing 'shrug-culture'
towards climate change.
The Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams and the Bishop of
London, the Rt Revd Richard Chartres who is chair of the Church of
England's national environmental campaign, Shrinking the
Footprint joined other leaders to sign Operation Noah's Ash
A short public service of prayer and dedication to launch the
Declaration will be held at St Mary-Le-Bow, Cheapside (5pm
Ash Wednesday 22 Feb), and at numerous churches around the
'Traditionally, Christians commit themselves to repentance and
renewed faith in Jesus Christ on Ash Wednesday,' said David
Atkinson, Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Southwark. 'We must
live out that faith in relation to our damaging consumer economy,
over-dependence on fossil fuels and the devastation we, as a
species, are inflicting on God's world. We believe that responsible
care for God's creation is foundational to the Gospel and central
to the church's mission.'
The Declaration, also signed by Most Rev Desmond Tutu, Archbishop
Emeritus of Cape Town, 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.
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
'A second Earth Summit is being prepared and the world seems
apathetic towards the real threat to all planetary life,' said
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.
'Various confessions also addressed apartheid in South Africa,' he
said. '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.'