Bishops’ letter on UN Nuclear Weapons Treaty


More than 30 bishops, including the archbishops of Canterbury and York, have put their names to a letter on the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

The letter is published in The Observer today. Here is the full text:

Dear Sir,

As bishops of the Church of England, we warmly welcome and applaud the recent ratification, by the required number of member states, of the United Nations’ Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, and we rejoice that the Treaty will therefore come into force on January 22, 2021. 

For so many of the nations of the world to speak clearly of the need to ban these weapons of mass destruction is an encouraging and hopeful sign. We commit ourselves to pray and to work so that this ratification will indeed help to see an end to nuclear weapons in the future.

We very much regret that the UK, together with other nuclear states, has not yet signed the accord. We call on the UK Government to do so, and thereby to give hope to all people of goodwill who seek a peaceful future.

We echo the UN Secretary-General who “commends the States that have ratified the Treaty and salutes the work of civil society, which has been instrumental in facilitating the negotiation and ratification of the Treaty.”

Accordingly, we renew our support for the work of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, together with sister organisations and agencies in each nation, whose advocacy and commitment continues to make such a difference.


Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury

Steven Cottrell, Archbishop of York

Paul Bayes, Bishop of Liverpool

Christopher Cocksworth, Bishop of Coventry

Richard Atkinson, Bishop of Bedford

Jo Bailey Wells, Bishop of Dorking

Pete Broadbent, Bishop of Willesden

Sarah Bullock, Bishop of Shrewsbury

Jonathan Clark, Bishop of Croydon

David Court, Bishop of Grimsby

Guli Francis-Dehqani, Bishop of Loughborough

Jonathan Goodall, Bishop of Ebbsfleet

Martin Gorick, Bishop of Dudley

Olivia Graham, Bishop of Reading

Clive Gregory, Bishop of Wolverhampton

Joanne Grenfell, Bishop of Stepney

David Hamid, Suffragan Bishop in Europe

Peter Hill, Bishop of Barking

Anne Hollinghurst, Bishop of Aston

John Inge, Bishop of Worcester

Roger Morris, Bishop of Colchester

Philip North, Bishop of Burnley

John Perumbalath, Bishop of Bradwell

Lee Rayfield, Bishop of Swindon

Tony Robinson, Bishop of Wakefield

Alan Smith, Bishop of St Albans

John Thomson, Bishop of Selby

Graham Tomlin, Bishop of Kensington

Rachel Treweek, Bishop of Gloucester

David Walker, Bishop of Manchester

Pete Wilcox, Bishop of Sheffield