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Church bells to ring out for climate change across the UK

by Kelly Valencia

Church bells will be ringing this evening ahead of the start of the COP26 climate summit.

Hundreds of churches across the UK  will come together to ring their church bells at 6pm today for 30 minutes or longer to call for urgent action on climate change. 

The Archdeacon of West Cumberland and President of the Carlisle Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers, the Ven Richard Pratt told Premier why climate change is an important issue for the church. 

"This is something that we can do to remind people that the church is very concerned about this and that our stewardship of God's creation is really important, that Christians, therefore have a moral and Christian duty to be concerned about climate change and to be part of tackling it."

The idea of the mass bellringing was devised by Edward Gildea, the adventurer and environmentalist, who is a member of St Mary's church in Saffron Walden, Essex, as a vivid warning of the danger from the climate emergency.

Gildea told the BBC: "We are saying 'we care for God's creation, we are concerned about it, we are very passionate about the future we seem to be storing up for ourselves and need to change" and said he was "thrilled and humbled" to see hundreds of churches taking part in the initiative. 

The United Nations Climate Change Conference takes place in Glasgow between October 31 and November 12 and will bring 196 world leaders and around  20,000 delegates. 

When asked about we can best be praying ahead of the summit, Ven Richard Pratt said: "The most important thing of all is to remember that prayer is not about asking God to wave a magic wand. Prayer is actually about us being prepared to change ourselves. So we've got to change as well. And we've got to be prepared to change our lifestyle to drive less, to fly much, much less or even not at all, to probably eat more locally sourced food, perhaps to eat less meat to live more simply, and to be prepared to take a lead on that, where others are perhaps less inclined to do so."

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