COP26: Prayer vigils went ahead to help people reflect on climate conference

The Bishops of Horsham and Lewes hosted events to help churches and individuals reflect theologically in preparation for COP26 despite the bad weather.

Thursday, 4th November 2021, 4:02 pm

There was a celebration of the beauty of creation at Firle Beacon at 4pm followed by a walk to St Peter’s, Firle for an act of commitment at 6pm to maintain the integrity of creation and to pray for all those charged with making difficult decisions at COP26. .

Bishop Will Hazlewood, who holds the remit for environmental issues in the diocese, said: "We have a clear obligation as stewards of the earth and its resources that calls us to be responsible in caring for our common home the earth."

Outlining ways in which parishes and communities can focus on the challenge ahead, the bishop said that starting with prayers was crucial: "Reflecting deeply in prayer, meditation and worship to discern how to care for the earth and each other, and to encourage our respective communities to do the same."

Horsham prayer vigil

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At the same time, the bishop said that practical action was needed: "Making transformational change in our own lives and in the lives of our communities through individual and collective action" is crucial.

But with the network of parishes and communities representing the household of faith across the Diocese, Bishop Will said that voicing both our concerns and hopes was important at this time.

He added that we need to be "advocates for justice by calling on governments, businesses and others who exercise power and influence to put into effect the Paris agreement; to make the transition to a just and green economy a priority; and to commit to science-based targets that are aligned with a healthy resilient, zero emissions future.”

Bishop Will's prayer vigil

He added: ‘‘A big thank you to everyone who braved the elements to pray for the world we are all reliant upon and that COP26 will have the courage to make the difficult decisions needed to avert the climate crisis we face."

In Horsham Bishop Ruth Bushyager said she was encouraged by the turnout at the COP26 dawn prayer meeting in Horsham despite the heavy wind and rain.