Churches to debate the ethics of their investments

By agency reporter
October 15, 2013

The Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility (ECCR) is marking National Ethical Investment Week (NEIW) – 13-19 October – by asking whether the churches invest in a way that fully reflects their Christian message.

The Council's forthcoming open debate 'Church Investment: witness or whitewash?’ will discuss faith based investors’ history of using investments as a lever to bring about positive social and environmental change as well as calls for the churches to take a more radical approach. Panellists will include Dr James Corah, secretary to the Church Investors Group, the Rev David Haslam of the Methodist Tax Justice Network and Sunniva Taylor of Operation Noah, which has just launched the ‘Bright Now’ campaign calling on the churches to disinvest from fossil fuel exploration and production.

"Churches can face big dilemmas when it comes to the practicalities of combining faith and finance, as we saw over the summer in national news coverage of some national church investments.” said ECCR's Chair Bishop Michael Doe who will also be chairing the debate. "A vital part of ECCR’s mission is to help church institutions and communities wrestle faithfully and openly with these challenges. This debate will be an important contributor to those ongoing conversations."

ECCR has co-published several resources to help Churches think about green and ethical finance options during NEIW and further initiatives will be announced at the 'witness or whitewash?' event. These will include a new website designed to help individuals and churches explore the connections between money, faith and finance. ECCR will also introduce its 'Ethical Money Churches' pilot scheme for worshipping communities which is due to get underway towards the end of 2013.

The Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility (ECCR) is a church-based investor coalition and membership organisation engaged in advocacy and awareness-raising on issues of business, human rights and environmental stewardship. More information about ECCR is available here www.eccr.org.uk and on Twitter: @eccr1

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