Make 2018 the year you divest your church


Two years ago, 195 countries signed the historic Paris Agreement, committing to keep average global temperature rises ‘well below 2 degrees Celsius’, compared with pre-industrial levels. We know that in order to meet these targets, there must be a rapid transition from fossil fuels to clean alternatives, including renewable energy.

The Church can lead the way: showing their support for the Paris Agreement by committing to divest from fossil fuels. And while our national Churches are still not there yet, local churches are taking a prophetic stand on this urgent issue.

A range of churches and other Christian organisations across the UK made divestment commitments last year. These include:

So what motivates a church or Christian organisation to take this step?

Christine Denwood of Wimbledon Congregational Church said: ‘Our church does not want to invest in the fossil fuel industry, because of the need to care for the planet and to encourage love and respect for God’s creation.’

Director of Climate Stewards, Caroline Pomeroy, said: ‘At Climate Stewards we believe that loving our neighbour means reducing our carbon footprint wherever possible. One way to do this is to divest from fossil fuel investments, highlighting the work that still needs to be done to reach the targets set in 2015 in order to keep our world safe in this generation and the future.’

Nicky Bull, Treasurer of High Street Baptist Church, Tring, explained: ‘Along with a small number of other members of the congregation, I recognise the urgency of the problem of climate change and believe that it is a faith issue – part of our calling as Christians to love our neighbours (global, and including future generations) and to care for all that God has made in creation. Supporting the fossil fuel industry as it continues to seek new reserves and to promote the ongoing burning of fossil fuels is not, in our view, compatible with this understanding of Scripture.’

Could your church or religious community also make a divestment commitment?

We are asking churches to divest any existing fossil fuel investments within the next five years or (in the case of churches that don’t have investments) to pledge not to invest in fossil fuels in the future. Our Divest Your Church booklet has all the information you need to do this. It’s a small step but it sends a big message.

Show that you recognise the urgency of the need to shift from fossil fuels to a brighter, cleaner future. Make 2018 the year that you divest your church!

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