27

Oct

2014

Christians celebrate the growing number of fossil-free Churches with a divestment party on the steps of St Paul’s!

 

On Saturday 25 October Christian Climate Action and Divest London threw a party on the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral to celebrate the growing number of Churches disinvesting from fossil fuels around the world. Christians, vicars, students and families celebrated with cakes, songs, party games and a ‘commitments catwalk’ of fossil-free Churches.

Speakers included representatives from Quakers in Britain and Brighthelm United Reformed Church in Brighton, who told partygoers why they have moved their money away from fossil fuels. Geoff Barnard, a trustee of Brighthelm, which was the first UK church congregation to divest, said the church was inspired by Operation Noah’s Bright Now campaign. He added, ‘It’s clear that the burning of fossil fuels is not sustainable. We divested from fossil fuels because we don’t want our money to support an industry that is destroying the planet. We were surprised to be the first church to take this step and hope others churches will soon join us by divesting from fossil fuels.’

10417793_320390934815088_3913238077800578283_nSt-Pauls-Divestment-Party-21

 

Forty-nine Churches and faith communities have now shown leadership on climate action by ditching their fossil fuel investments. These include the World Council of Churches, the Church of Sweden, Quakers in Britain, the Uniting Church in Australia, the United Church of Christ in the US and six Anglican dioceses in New Zealand. In recent weeks, these Churches have been joined by the Anglican dioceses of Perth, Canberra and Melbourne in Australia and the Presbyterian Church of New Zealand.

A week before the celebration, Christian Climate Action visited the headquarters of the Church of England with balloons and a large party invitation to encourage the Church Commissioners – who make investment decisions for the Church of England – to join the party. Hannah Martin of Christian Climate Action, who delivered the invitation, said: ‘The Church has a historic precedent for supporting divestment campaigns, as it did to support the end of apartheid in South Africa. The fossil fuel divestment movement is growing and the Church needs to be on the right side of history. We are challenging the Church because we love it. We want it to be the prophetic voice for those affected by climate change that Jesus called it to be.’

blogSt Pauls Divestment Party-3

 

Operation Noah is excited to see Christians leading creative actions to encourage debate on the ethics of fossil fuel investments within the Church. We welcome their call for the Church to urgently move its money away from the industry threatening the future of our planet. We would love UK Churches to give them further cause for celebration by joining the ‘divestment party’!

  • Take a look at some more photos of the divestment party here.
  • Christian Climate Action is a collection of Christians who are concerned about the effects of climate change on the future of our planet and its inhabitants. The group has already held an action outside Downing Street, where two Catholic grandparents risked arrest while praying for David Cameron to take action on climate change. Join their Facebook to stay up to date on forthcoming actions.
  • Divest London is a citizens’ movement pushing institutions across London to divest from fossil fuels. Find out more by joining their Facebook page or visiting http://divestlondon.org.

 

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