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Churches' Statement

The basis of our concern

The COP21 Climate Summit in Paris could be the last chance for Governments to agree a deal to prevent devastating climate change.

Across the globe partners of the Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Church of Scotland, the Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church have for some years been telling of their experiences of the impact of global warming. We join with them in a common cause and stress that now is the time to act.

Read more: The Paris COP21 Climate Summit - 30 November to 11 December

Senior leaders of four major UK Churches have welcomed the Government's commitment to limiting climate change, and have called for more to be done to keep global warming below 2°C.

Leaders of the Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Church of Scotland, the Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church issued a statement today, in the lead up to the COP21 summit in Paris.

Next week (30 November – 11 December) representatives from more than 190 nations will gather in Paris with the aim to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate change to keep global warming below 2°C. Over the past year churches, charities and agencies have prayed, fasted and marched in solidarity for climate justice.

Read more: Church leaders call on Governments for credible and sustainable transition from fossil fuels

clerksphoto

URC Church House was the venue for this year’s meeting of the ‘Four Clerks’, when Presbyterian colleagues from Scotland, Ireland and Wales joined our own general secretary for a day of business and mutual support.

John Proctor, United Reformed Church general secretary, said: "Our four churches and four nations face quite different needs and opportunities. Yet as we share in a common Reformed Christian heritage, we have much to offer one another by way of insight and encouragement."

From the left John Proctor (URC), Meirion Morris (Presbyterian Church of Wales), Trevor Gribben (Presbyterian Church in Ireland) and John Chalmers (Church of Scotland).

water

This month's poem from Lucy Berry explores Advent themes. She says: "Water is at the beginning of everything. Mary has carried the whole of creation and delivers her baby in a rush of water and understanding".

No control once your waters break;
that is all gone, long, long gone;
He arrives in His own good time
and your mystery goes on.

You, who spoke poems to that angel
bright in his light and white silk,
are damp now with straining and pain
and sticky with milk.

Read more: Holy Water

An internally-displaced Syrian cooks in front of her tent in a refugee camp in Atimeh, on the Syrian-Turkish border. © Asmaa Waguih/Reuters

In November, the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon (NESSL) launched a 10-month project to help war-affected Syrians.

Around 7 million people are internally displaced, creating desperate need for houses in the relatively safe areas of Syria.

Dr Mary Mikhael, writing on behalf of the church says, "The church has to respond to the cries for help that get louder by the day. Those who are trying to stay in Syria despite all the dangerous challenges deserve to helped and encouraged not to lose their hope that God will not forget them."

Read more: Appeal: support people in war-torn Syria