Next week, Church of England clergy will be gathering at Church House in London for General Synod. On Wednesday 12th, members will be debating whether the Church of England should bring forward its zero-carbon emissions target to 2045.
Members of Christian Climate Action, the Christians of Extinction Rebellion, are holding a memorial service outside of Synod on the morning of this debate. The vigil will commemorate the children who have lost their lives to the climate emergency. The group are inviting all Synod members to join them at this vigil, through an invitation which can be seen below.
Many Church of England clergy, such as the former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, have highlighted the need for an urgent response to the climate crisis. When informed about the vigil, Dr Rowan stated “acting justly includes creating the conditions in which justice is possible. A world in which present generations make human well-being and equity impossible for future generations is grossly unjust: the Christian churches need to be clear in naming this for what it is and courageous in doing what can be done to set it right.”
Rev Sue Parfitt, an Anglican Priest from Bristol also made it clear that she considers a net zero target of 2045 to be too much of a delay. “This climate emergency will not wait for us” she states, “every year that we delay reducing our emissions is a year that we are knowingly inflicting suffering on the world’s most vulnerable people. As a Christian this breaks my heart. Isn’t it our duty to speak out for the needy not force them into desperation?
“The fact the church is talking about improving their bare minimum 2050 target reveals they know it’s not good enough and that they are currently on the wrong side of history. However, if they want to claim to be prophetic leaders on the greatest moral issue of the 21st century they will need to go further and faster.”