Church leaders from across the UK are set to sign a joint declaration, calling for national repentance for an apathetic attitude to climate change.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams and Cardinal Keith O’Brien, the most senior Catholic clergyman in the UK, along with a host of other Bishops and leaders of various denominations, including the Methodist, Baptist and United Reformed Churches, will sign a specially drafted Ash Wednesday Declaration, during a short public service of prayer and dedication to launch the Declaration will be held at St Mary-Le-Bow, in the city of London.
The declaration has been prepared by Operation Noah, a Christian organisation which provides leadership, focus and inspiration in response to the growing threat of climate change.
It is framed around seven biblical themes and argues that, to be a Christian is to accept the call to radical discipleship, which demands a real change in lifestyle.
David Atkinson, Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Southwark said: “Traditionally, Christians commit themselves to repentance and renewed faith in Jesus Christ on Ash Wednesday.
“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.'
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.
She said: “A second Earth Summit is being prepared and the world seems apathetic towards the real threat to all planetary life.”
Bishop David added: ”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.”
As the declaration is signed, at 5pm, in London, numerous churches around the country will also hold similar services, committing to corporate repentance.
February 21st, 2012 - Posted & Written by Simon Cross