Christian organisations in the UK are coming together to launch a year of prayer and fasting for the climate at special services across the country on 1 November 2014. This initiative calls on Christians to pray and fast on the first day of every month to make a stand for climate justice. The coming year is a crucial time for faith communities to act in response to the climate crisis, as momentum builds towards a new international climate agreement to be signed in Paris in December 2015 to stop dangerous climate change.
In London, the main launch service – taking place at St John’s Waterloo, at 11am on 1 November – is hosted by Christian charity Operation Noah with support from other members of the Faith for the Climate network, including A Rocha, CAFOD, Christian Aid, Christian Concern for One World, Christian Ecology Link, OurVoices, Hope for the Future and Shrinking the Footprint.
The main speaker, Revd Steve Chalke, Oasis Trust founder, will speak about the political and spiritual significance of prayer and fasting as a powerful platform for change. Responding to climate change is one of the most pressing moral issues of our day and goes right to the heart of the Christian faith. Through coming together to pray and fast we bring our deepest hopes and fears before God.
Canon Giles Goddard, priest at St John’s Waterloo and board member of Operation Noah said: "The need for change is urgent and everyone can help bring it about. This is an initiative about hope. Praying and fasting for the climate will inspire action and encourage people to think about what needs to happen. We are calling for justice for all those impacted by climate change now and in the future, and for an ambitious outcome at next year’s climate talks in Paris. We hope people across the country will support the initiative and tell others about it."
Other services will be taking place across the UK, including Brighton, Coventry, Lancaster and Southwell. People will be encouraged to spread the movement far and wide by hosting monthly prayer and fasting events.
This prayer movement builds upon the ‘Fast for the Climate’ initiative begun at the 2013 UN climate talks by Yeb Sano, the Filipino delegate, in the wake of the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan. Yeb has continued to fast on the first of every month, joined by people from all around the world.
Prayer resources and information about events can be found at: www.prayandfastfortheclimate.org.uk
Operation Noah is an ecumenical Christian charity providing leadership, focus and inspiration in response to the growing threat of catastrophic climate change. www.operationnoah.org