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News from the Diocese of Southwark

Southwark Diocese calls for the Church to take the lead in caring for the planet

5 Jul 2013

Diocesan Director of Communications

Tel: 020 7939 9400
Mobile: 07831 694021
Fax: 020 7939 9468

At the July meeting of the Southwark Diocesan Synod, the first steps were taken on a path that could eventually lead to the Church of England taking a lead in the fight against climate change.  

By an overwhelming majority, the Synod voted to call upon the General Synod (the governing body of the Church of England) to ensure that the Church’s investment policy is in line with its theological, moral and social priorities including the Christian responsibility to care for the planet. This would include the possibility of dis-investing from fossil fuel extraction and supply companies.  

The synod also called upon General Synod to establish a Working Group on the Environment to monitor this and other environmental issues.  

Canon Giles Goddard, who proposed the motion, said afterwards “We must address the environmental crisis urgently.  The earth is God’s creation and the Church should be taking a lead with our corporate response to climate change.”

Note to editors: The motion that was passed at Southwark’s Diocesan Synod on Wednesday 3 July was as follows:


i.recognising the damage being done to the planet through the burning of fossil fuels;
ii.aware of the huge reserves held by gas, oil and coal extraction industries;
iii.committed to taking seriously our Christian responsibility to care for the planet ('The earth is the Lord's');
iv.acknowledging the financial responsibilities of the Church National Investment bodies;
v.noting that a review of recommended ethical investment policy with regard to climate change has commenced at the Church of England Ethical Investment Advisory Group;  

calls upon the General Synod of the Church of England to:

a)request the National Investment Bodies to ensure that their new investment policy (including the option of disinvestment) is aligned with the theological, moral and social priorities of the Church, which find expression in the Report Sharing God's Planet, Shrinking the Footprint Campaign and in the Report "Church and Earth";
b)request the EIAG to publish their review by the end of 2014;
c)establish a General Synod Working Group on the Environment,to monitor this and other environmental issues.