Churches urged to mark Earth Hour with blackout

By staff writers
March 11, 2009

A Catholic cathedral is taking a lead in the campaign against climate change, and encouraging others to follow suit, by turning off its lights to mark Earth Hour.

Earth Hour, which takes place on Saturday 28th March, encourages everyone around the world to turn off their lights and show support for global action on climate change.

There are an estimated 47,000 churches in the UK. Many are floodlit, have spires lit up or keep lights on to maintain a feeling of welcome at the heart of the communities.

Together they could create a huge impact around the country by marking Earth Hour, say campaigners.

Mary Colwell a parishioner of Clifton Cathedral in Bristol, has organised the Cathedral’s Earth Hour event. She is an award-winning TV and radio producer specialising in the environment and faith.

Mary Colwell said: “Earth Hour is a great opportunity for people to show they care about the future of our home - earth.

“It will act as a world-wide statement of hope for the future because now, more than any other time in history, are we being asked to consider how many resources we use, how much we waste, how much we own but don’t need and how much strain we are putting on the earth’s abundance.

“But of course this isn’t just about the environment, it is about people too. We can’t separate out human justice and dignity from the goods and services the natural world provides. Twenty per cent of the world’s population use eight per cent of the world’s resources, which means many people are living poor, undignified lives that are often threatened by violence and injustice.

“Earth Hour is a call not only to the stereotypical ‘greenies’. It is a call to all of us Catholics who belong not just to a diocese - the local Church - but to a huge global family of believers. Catholicism is a world-wide faith that has influence in almost every part of the earth. We have to act as a family and stand in solidarity again all forms of injustice and wrong-doing whether that injustice is being done to the earth, to individuals or to whole communities. Earth Hour is a call to all people of faith to show in a simple but effective way what it means to care and put that care into action.”

Clifton Cathedral will hold its own low energy service on 24th March.

Earth Hour takes place at 8.30 pm on Saturday 28 March.

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