PRESS Release 24/11/2015
FOR IMMEDIATE USE
BIRMINGHAM FAITHS WALK IN SOLIDARITY WITH PARIS CLIMATE PILGRIMS
This Saturday evening, members of faith communities from across Birmingham will walk and gather together in support of a low carbon future.
The walk, leaving the church of St Martin in the Bullring at 7pm on Saturday 28th November, will coincide with the arrival of delegates at the COP21 UN Climate Conference in Paris. Members of the many faith communities in Birmingham will take footsteps together in solidarity with people who have bravely made a pilgrimage to Paris to call for genuine action to stop climate change at the talks.
On arriving at Bull Street Quaker Meeting House at 7.30pm, the walkers will take part in a gathering with leaders from the local Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh communities. They will reflect on the challenges of being good stewards of the Earth & its resources, and the footsteps we will need to take to a more hopeful future. Birmingham’s young people will also make their voice heard, speaking about the low-carbon future they hope for when they are older.
Archbishop Bernard Longley will introduce the Lambeth 2015 Declaration on Climate Change. Originally made on 16th June this year by faith leaders from across the UK, the declaration stresses the urgency of the challenge of global warming, expresses the teaching across all faiths about care for our common home, and pledges commitment to a low-carbon future. Those taking part in the gathering will join with people across the globe to (as the declaration states) “urge our Government to use their influence to achieve a legally-binding commitment at the international Climate Change talks in Paris, and with the continuing programme beyond. Through our various traditions we bring our prayers for the success of the negotiations.”
Selly Oak MP Steve McCabe will also be attending the event, and will be presented with a letter to deliver to Amber Rudd MP (Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change) expressing the collective concerns of faith communities in Birmingham. Several other MPs have sent messages of support.
Peter Doubtfire (coordinator of Peace Hub, which hosted the planning of the event) said: “People of all faiths and no particular faith are invited to join us to walk and gather in support of the safe and sustainable world we all want. Our thoughts and prayers are with those in Paris who have suffered in recent events, and the people who are travelling there to call for a more hopeful future.”
This event is one of many such events taking place across the world on the 28th and 29th November calling for a strong agreement in Paris. Many people from Birmingham will be travelling to London the following day to take part in the People’s March for Climate, Justice & Jobs. Peter added: “This event will be an opportunity to stand in solidarity with people taking action for climate justice across the world this weekend. We hope that it is the start of something bigger, with faith communities in Birmingham continuing to work together for a more sustainable world.”
PHOTO OPPORTUNITY with Steve McCabe MP and Birmingham’s young people: 7:25pm Sat 28th Nov, Quaker Meeting House, 40 Bull Street, Birmingham, B4 6AF.
COMMENTS, INTERVIEWS OR MORE INFORMATION please contact Peter Doubtfire: firstname.lastname@example.org 0121 238 2869
EVENT WEBSITE www.peacehub.org.uk/footsteps
FULL PROGRAMME: Faiths for a Low Carbon Future, Saturday 28th November 2015
Walk departing 7pm Parish Church of St Martin in the Bullring, Birmingham, B5 5BB
Gathering at 7:30pm Quaker Meeting House, 40 Bull St, Birmingham, B4 6AF:
Clerk, Central England Quakers
INTRODUCTION Tricia Bradbury HMP Birmingham Chaplaincy team LAMBETH DECLARATION 2015 ON CLIMATE CHANGE Archbishop Bernard Longley On behalf of Birmingham Faith Leaders FAITH CONTRIBUTIONS Buddhist Bhante Beragama Ratana Jethavana Vihara Christian Rev Patrick Gerard Adviser to Archbishop David Urqhart on Environmental issues. Hindu Pandit Gaurang Mehta Shree Ram Mandir THE VOICES OF YOUNG PEOPLE FAITH CONTRIBUTIONS (continued) Jewish Representative TBA Jewish Progressive Synagogue Muslim Shahin Ashraf Birmingham University Multifaith Chaplaincy team Sikh Bhai Sahib Bhai Ji Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha CONCLUSION Tricia Bradbury
STATEMENTS OF SUPPORT received from local Members of Parliament unable attend in person:
“The future of humanity and mankind depends on our ability to show respect for our environment. I welcome people of faith coming together to make a Pilgrimage. Together we can make a difference.” Gisela Stuart MP Birmingham Edgbaston
“I send my best wishes for a successful meeting and hope that our aspirations for Paris will be realised.” Rt Hon Andrew Mitchell MP Sutton Coldfield
“Faith has an important role to play in issues such as Climate Change as we all have responsibility for the world in which we live.” Shabana Mahmood: MP Birmingham Ladywood
COP21 PARIS CLIMATE CONFERENCE http://www.cop21.gouv.fr/en/
PILGRIMAGE TO PARIS http://pilgrimage2paris.org.uk/
PEOPLE’S MARCH FOR CLIMATE, JUSTICE & JOBS http://climatejusticejobs.org.uk/
Lambeth Declaration 2015 on Climate Change
Signed in June 2015 by leaders from the main faith groups in Britain
“As leaders of the faith communities we recognise the urgent need for action on climate change.
From the perspective of our different faiths we see the earth as a beautiful gift. We are all called to care for the earth and have a responsibility to live creatively and sustainably in a world of finite resources.
Climate change is already disproportionately affecting the poorest in the world. The demands of justice as well as of creation require the nations of the world urgently to limit the global rise in average temperatures to a maximum of 2oC, as agreed by the United Nations in Cancun. We have a responsibility to act now, for ourselves, our neighbours and for future generations.
The scale of change needed to make the transition to a low carbon economy is considerable and the task urgent. We need to apply the best of our intellectual, economic and political resources. Spirituality is a powerful agent of change. Faith has a crucial role to play in resourcing both individual and collective change.
We call on our faith communities to:
- Recognise the urgency of the tasks involved in making the transition to a low carbon economy.
- Develop the spiritual and theological resources that will strengthen us individually and together in our care of the earth, each other and future generations.
- Encourage and pray for those engaged in the intellectual, economic, political and spiritual effort needed to address this crisis.
- Work with our communities and partners in the UK and internationally to mitigate the effects of climate change on the poorest and most vulnerable communities in the world;
- Build on the examples of local and international action to live and to work together sustainably,
- Redouble our efforts to reduce emissions that result from our own institutional and individual activities.
As representatives of the vast numbers of people of faith across the globe we urge our Government to use their influence to achieve a legally-binding commitment at the international Climate Change talks in Paris, and with the continuing programme beyond. Through our various traditions we bring our prayers for the success of the negotiations.
We call with humility, with a determination enlivened by our faith and with awareness of the need for courage, justice and hope. We are faced with a huge challenge. But we are hopeful that the necessary changes can be made – for the sake of all who share this world today – and those who will share it tomorrow.”