World Day of Prayer for Climate Change

British Church leaders of all denomination have expressed support for a Climate Change Day of Prayer on 4 October in the run up to the next United Nations climate change summit due to take place at the end of the year.

"I shall be joining Christians from many different churches on 4 October in praying to the Author of Life and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ that God's will be done during the decisive Copenhagen conference this December," said the  Anglican Bishop of London, the Rt Revd Richard Chartres. "Prayer is powerful in dispelling the illusion that we are gods; an illusion which has wreaked such havoc on the earth."

Resources are now available on the Churches Together in Britain and Ireland website to help Christians organise local events on 4 October, or another nearby date that might be more suitable. The Climate Change Day of Prayer will be the culmination of a "Time for Creation" month of study by British and Irish churches on the theme of "Creation in Crisis - a time for prayer and action".

The Climate Change Day of Prayer is an initiative of the Environmental Issues Network of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI). The network brings together environmental representatives from all of Britain and Ireland's mainstream churches. Also involved are Christian development and environmental organisations, including Christian Aid, CAFOD, Tearfund, A Rocha, Christian Ecology Link, EcoCongregation, the John Ray Initiative, and Operation Noah.

"Prayer is at the heart of all our actions, and this call to prayer comes at a good time," said Linda Jones, Head of Spirituality for the Catholic development agency, CAFOD.

"We pray not just that political leaders might act but that we too may be transformed. We need to be ready to change the way we live to reflect our belief that we are called to care for creation, not to participate in its destruction. Poor countries are already bearing the brunt of droughts, floods and extreme weather conditions. CAFOD is calling for a fair and binding climate change deal at the UN meeting in Copenhagen this December, which puts poor communities at its heart. We pray that we may recognise our responsibilities towards others, and towards creation itself, which in its beauty and diversity mirrors the glory of God.

"As the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales has written, 'Our destructiveness can silence creation's song of praise to God; our care for creation can be a true expression of our own praise."

Dr Isabel Carter has written the resources for the Climate Change Day of Prayer in coordination with Operation Noah. She said: "The talks in Copenhagen this December are of huge significance because they provide an opportunity for the nations of the world to reach binding agreements on cutting back carbon emissions to slow rising global temperatures. Bold agreements for action are needed based on climate science. Much of the negotiating and decision making will take place prior to the summit in December. Hence, there is the crucial need for prayer over the next three months."

Those behind the Climate Change Day of Prayer initiative hope that Christians will hold joint times of prayer within every town and city.

The date of Sunday, 4 October is St Francis' Day, and many churches will hold their harvest festival services then. This makes the date an appropriate time to pray about climate change. The organisers are also encouraging churches to arrange several times of prayer before and during the Copenhagen talks in December.

All the resources required to prepare for, promote and run a Climate Change Day of Prayer event are available for free download at:

Time for Creation 2009 materials remain available as free downloads at:, and are available in Welsh and Irish language versions, as well as in English.

*In London, Our Lady Help of Christians in Kentish Town is devoting 2-4 October to green  issues. Their St Francis weekend will begin with a talk by Mark Dowd from Operation Noah,  on the evening of 2 October. Ellen Teague from the Columbans will be speaking at all the Sunday Masses. There will also be a Pet Blessing on Sunday, 4 October. For more information contact:

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