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Churches say: Act now on climate change

Sixteen leaders of Christian Churches in the UK will attend an ecumenical service in London on 5 December to urge political leaders meeting in Copenhagen to ‘‘Act now on climate change’.

Among them will be:

Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury;
Archbishop Vincent Nichols, Catholic Archbishop of Westminster;
Revd David Gamble, Chair of the Methodist Conference;
Revd. Pat Took, Chair, London Baptist Association;
Steve Clifford, General Director of the Evangelical Alliance;
Colonel Brian Peddle, Chief Secretary for The  Salvation Army UK and Republic of Ireland.

At least 3,000 Christians are expected to join them, carrying an array of colourful banners and dressed in blue. They will be travelling from their parishes around the country in special trains and coaches. After the service some church leaders and the congregation will join tens of thousands of people marching to form a blue wave around the Houses of Parliament.

Churches on the march will be a key part of the growing movement for action on climate change. It is expected to be the UK’s biggest ever demonstration in support of action on climate change, ahead of  the crucial UN climate talks in Copenhagen.

The keynote address at the morning service will be given by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams. The churches are calling on the UK government to take a leading role in securing a fair, ambitious and binding climate deal in Copenhagen. For Christians, tackling climate change is urgent for two major reasons.

Firstly, it is a social justice issue since it is having immediate and devastating impacts on the world's poorest people, who are least responsible yet hardest hit. Secondly, humanity is charged by God with protecting and preserving the diversity and beauty of God's creation, which is depleted and threatened by climate change.

Church leaders urge that the UK must commit to stringent reductions in carbon emissions and provide money for adaptation and clean development to help poor communities in their response to climate change.

Prayers will be led by the Vincent Nichols, Head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, plus other church leaders and visiting partners from the global South. Steve Clifford, General Director of the Evangelical Alliance, will MC the service.

The event is organised by A Rocha, CAFOD, Christian Aid, Christian Concern for One World, Christian Ecology Link, Columban JPIC, MRDF, Operation Noah, Progressio, SPEAK and  Tearfund.

Press contacts:

Gillian Sandford, Christian Aid
0207 523 2419 / 07912 407692 or gsandford@christian-aid.org

Ellen Teague, Columban Faith and Justice
020 8954 6255 / 07956 317 338 or vocforjus@aol.com

Revd Dave Bookless, A Rocha UK
020 8574 5935 / 07974 212713 or dave.bookless@arocha.org

Pascale Palmer, CAFOD
0207 095 5459 or ppalmer@cafod.org.uk

Jo Barrett, Progressio
020 7288 8619 / 07940 703911 or jo@progressio.org.uk

Esther Williams, Tearfund
0208 943 7779 / 07595 202438 or esther.williams@tearfund.org 

Ruth Jarman, Christian Ecology Link
07970 907784 or ruth@sjarman11.wanadoo.co.uk