The URC adopts new environmental policy

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The Revd Tracey Lewis, convenor of the mission committee, introduced the work to develop a new environmental policy for the URC, asking, 'how shall we respond to rising temperatures and sea levels?'.

Resolutions 31 and 32 concern the adoption of the policy and the creation of a task group to monitor progress.

'It is our activity that has contributed to the degradation of the world,' she said. 'In reaffirming our commitment we recognise we must do more.'

'The environmental policy is not an initiative. It is a statement of intent with no supposition that what works for one will work for all.'

Ms Lewis said the policy invites churches to take up a wide range of practical steps, and to give attention to prayer, Bible study reflection and repentance. Synods can support churches and set up initiatives such as green apostles to aid churches.

The Revd Dr Rosalind Selby said: 'The challenge before us compels us learn to live sacrificially, and that will affect the decisions of the church and the councils of the church.'

The Revd David Pickering, Moderator of the Synod of Scotland, moved an amendment to include reference to the target set by the COP21 Paris meeting. He said: 'The COP21 agreement will be foundational to environmental policy worldwide for many years to come. We can measure our internal work by this agreement. We would not wish to behind civil society.

'The agreement has 178 signatories, yet only 19 nations of the necessary 50 have ratified the agreement to date. Britain has not yet ratified and policy, he said would give us a campaigning tool.'

Assembly passed resolutions 31 and 32 by consensus.

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