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Ring out for climate change

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The Ring Out For Climate Change campaign is being led by Edward Gildea, a Christian Aid climate campaign organiser from Essex who is asking churches to ring their bells at 6 pm for 30 minutes on Saturday 30 October as a warning of the climate emergency and to mark the start of the conference.
Mr Gildea said: “I was inspired by several things including Clap for Carers during the pandemic and, the historic uses of church bells. Ringing church bells as a warning for people in this country at times of national crisis is well known – with bells for the Spanish Armada right through to the Second World War.

“The climate crisis is not just a national problem but a global one. I thought ringing the bells for climate would be a way to wake people up, in every part of the country, to the urgency of the crisis we face ahead of COP.

“It can act as a warning in every parish that climate action is necessary, and we have an opportunity to make progress in Glasgow.”

Bishop Graham, who will be attending the first week of the conference in Glasgow, agrees: “Church bells have traditionally been rung through the centuries to raise the alarm for local communities. The recent “code red” report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is an alarm call for us all. 

“I am happy to endorse a nationwide “ring out for climate change” on the eve of the COP26 as a symbol of warning, but also of hope, that this conference will lead to action for us all, like Jesus, to tread more gently on our single island planet home and care more for those already adversely affected by climate change, especially in the economically poorest places on earth,” he added.

The Revd Canon Paul Cubitt, President of the Norwich Diocesan Association of Ringers said:

“Bells ring to call people to worship, they ring for celebrations and national thanksgivings. They have also been rung in times of danger. This might have been as a warning of invasion or fire. By ringing as many bells as we can across the Diocese on Saturday 30 October we will draw attention to the very real challenges of climate change and our own need to change. Some may want to ring bells half-muffled for a damaged world’.

The UN Climate Conference, COP26, will see 196 world leaders and an expected 20,000 delegates meet in Glasgow and work together to commit to a reduction in emissions to avoid a climate emergency.

It comes just months after the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change described global warming as a “code red for humanity”.

Mr Gildea has set up a Facebook page for anyone wanting to join the campaign. Where churches participate, a notification on social media or in newsletters can help make the local community aware of the significance of the bells.

Saturday 30 October: 6 – 6.30 pm: Ring out for Climate Change