COP26 Glasgow: Bishops call to action over climate change

The Bishops of Horsham and Lewes are hosting events to help churches and individuals reflect theologically in preparation for COP26

The Bishops are leading a call to action across the Diocese of Chichester, which will include general prayers and specific prayers, shaped by the aims imagined for the forthcoming COP26.

Each bishop will lead an event on Sunday, October 31.

The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, is the 26th United Nations Climate Change conference and will be held in Glasgow.

The Bishop of Horsham, Ruth Bushyager, and the Bishop of Lewes, Will Hazlewood.

The COP26 summit bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. It starts on Sunday, October 31 until Friday, November 12.

The Bishop of Horsham, Ruth Bushyager, is leading a prayer gathering with Horsham Churches Together. Everyone is welcome for Bible readings, silence and prayer, 7.30am at Horsham Park (Human Nature Garden).

Meanwhile the Bishop of Lewes, Will Hazlewood, is taking part in a Celebration of the Beauty of Creation at Firle Beacon also on Sunday but at 4pm .

This will be followed by a walk to St Peter’s, Firle for an act of commitment at 6pm to maintain the integrity of creation and to pray for all those charged with making difficult decisions at COP26. All will be very welcome to join for any part of it.

Bishop Hazlewood, who holds the remit for environmental issues in the diocese said: "We have a clear obligation as stewards of the earth and its resources that calls us to be responsible in caring for our common home the earth."

Outlining ways in which parishes and communities can focus on the challenge ahead, the bishop said that starting with prayers was crucial:

He said: "Reflecting deeply in prayer, meditation and worship to discern how to care for the earth and each other, and to encourage our respective communities to do the same."

At the same time, the bishop said that practical action was needed: "Making transformational change in our own lives and in the lives of our communities through individual and collective action" is crucial.

But with the network of parishes and communities representing the household of faith across the Diocese, Bishop Will said that voicing both our concerns and hopes was important at this time.

He added that we need to be "advocates for justice by calling on governments, businesses and others who exercise power and influence to put into effect the Paris agreement; to make the transition to a just and green economy a priority; and to commit to science-based targets that are aligned with a healthy resilient, zero emissions future.”

The two events on October 31 will be opportunities for people to come together for general prayers and specific prayers shaped by the aims imagined for the forthcoming COP26.