Climate Sunday and Climate.Cymru
A number of member organisations of Climate.Cymru are inspired by faith – as the blog by Anna Fraine from CAFOD in April expressed so powerfully. An amazingly broad coalition of Christian churches and organisations from across Britain and Ireland has come together to pool our resources in the run-up to the COP26 conference in Glasgow in November in the Climate Sunday project. Cytûn (Churches together in Wales) provides a Welsh voice in the management of this project.
The three-pronged commitment we are asking of Climate Sunday supporters ties in perfectly with the aims of Climate Cymru:
- We are asking churches to hold at least one climate-focussed act of worship. While worship is a corporate act, it deepens our own personal relationship with our Creator God. So it reminds us that we each stand individually responsible before God. For us in the rich world, surely each Climate Sunday service must include some deep repentance for our lifestyle and how it is accelerating climate change.
- We then ask each church to make a long-term commitment as a community to one of the existing programmes to reduce our church’s carbon footprint and tackle the interlinked crises of climate and nature – such as Eco Church or LiveSimply. That reminds us that as individuals we live in community, and there are many steps – such as restoring nature on our church land or divesting our church funds from fossil fuels – that require action by the whole community.
- Thirdly, churches are asked to sign up to The Climate Coalition’s ‘The Time Is Now’ declaration which is directed at politicians and world leaders – because climate change is the responsibility of people in positions of power. We also encourage churches in Wales to add their voices to Cymru. Decarbonising the national grid or creating a new national forest for Wales are not projects that an individual or even the most active church can take on – it requires governments to act with urgency. COP26 will provide a crucial platform for such commitments, but that requires politicians to believe that we, individuals and communities, care enough about tackling climate change to want them to commit to things that will, in turn, substantially change our lives.
Climate Sunday also aims to encourage people to think through how the climate crisis changes their faith, and how faith might help tackle the crisis beyond COP26. This raises profound questions, and Cytûn is offering a lecture entitled The End of the World? Christian apocalyptic and responses to climate change online on Thursday May 20 at 5pm. Secular campaigners on climate change are often accused of being “apocalyptic” in their warnings. Two thousand years ago, the same accusation was made against a number of New Testament writers, notably the author of the Book of Revelation. How are these two apocalyptic narratives related? You can book your free tickets for the lecture here.
Revd Gethin Rhys works as Policy Officer for Cytûn (Churches together in Wales) and is a member of the Climate Sunday Steering Group.