Brighthelm URC first UK church congregation to disinvest from fossil fuels

By agency reporter
May 23, 2014

Inspired by Operation Noah’s Bright Now campaign, Brighthelm URC Church in Brighton is pulling out of investing in fossil fuels. Operation Noah has congratulated Brighthelm on being the first individual UK church to make the decision to disinvest since the launch of the ON campaign.

Brighthelm’s minister, the Rev Alex Mabbs, explained, "One of our core values at Brighthelm is sustainability. It is clear that the burning of fossil fuels is not sustainable and increasingly intensive extraction methods are causing extreme damage to the environment and harming animals, plants and humans. We don’t want our money to support an industry that is killing the planet. Instead, we want to contribute to a world in which all life can flourish."

Mark Letcher, Vice Chair of Operation Noah commented, ‘We are greatly encouraged that Brighthelm has added its voice to the global fossil fuel disinvestment movement spreading across churches around the world. As well as working to bring about change within national denominations we are also encouraging individual churches that hold investments to disinvest. This is an important step, and we are delighted that a mainstream UK church has taken this lead."

Shortly after the launch of Bright Now in September 2013, Quakers in Britain became the first religious grouping to commit to disinvestment. Since then, the Church of England has discussed the issue at General Synod and committed to undertake a review of their investments. Several Methodist regional groups have recently put forward requests for the Methodist Church in Britain to disinvest from fossil fuels, and these will be discussed at the Methodist Conference this July.

Operation Noah will be encouraging further involvement in spreading the fossil free movement across UK Churches at their supporters’ day on 7th June in Birmingham.

Operation Noah is an ecumenical Christian charity providing leadership, focus and inspiration in response to the growing threat of catastrophic climate change. It launched Bright Now: towards fossil free Churches in September 2013 and calls on Churches and the Christian community in the UK to disinvest from major fossil fuel companies and to take a leading and influential role in the debate on the ethics of investment in fossil fuels.



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