The Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church is one of 28 religious leaders in Scotland to sign a statement of commitment ahead of the CoP26 event in Glasgow this year.
The 26th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (CoP 26) was scheduled to take place in Scotland last year, but was postponed until 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
In its statement, the Scottish Religious Leaders’ Forum commits to respond to the challenges of climate change by reflecting deeply in prayer on how to care for the earth and each other, making transformational change in our own lives, and by being advocates for justice.
As well as the Primus, the statement is also signed by the Rev Bonnie Evans Hills, convener Scottish Episcopal Church Interfaith Relations Committee.
The full statement says:
“We the Scottish Religious Leaders’ Forum, are united as people of faith in protecting the dignity of human life and creation. We look forward, with others throughout the UK, to welcoming delegates, guests and pilgrims from around the world to Glasgow and Scotland, whether in person or online. We look forward to offering you our hospitality, solidarity and support, to listening to you, and to learning from the stories of your lives and your communities.
“We understand the gravity of the situation; the impact of climate change around the world; the inequality of its effects and the critical importance of decisions made in this conference to take forward the agreement made in Paris in 2015 (CoP21).
“We call for transformational change in our lives, our communities, our economies and our governments. We recognise that humanity has exploited the planet, causing climate change and that the burden of loss and damage falls most heavily on the poor, especially women and children. We call for care for each other and care of the earth to be the highest duty in all our lives.
“As the Scottish Religious Leaders’ Forum, we commit to respond to this challenge by:
❖ Reflecting deeply in prayer, meditation and worship to discern how to care for the earth and each other, and to encourage our respective communities to do the same
❖ Making transformational change in our own lives and in the lives of our communities through individual and collective action.
❖ Being advocates for justice by calling on governments, businesses and others who exercise power and influence to put into effect the Paris agreement; to make the transition to a just and green economy a priority; and to commit to science-based targets that are aligned with a healthy, resilient, zero-emissions future.
“We recognise the enormity of this task, especially for rich countries whose models of production, consumption, development and waste have caused many of the current climate-related problems. We ask those who visit us from around the world, especially those from countries who experience the worst consequences of climate change, to guide us. We conclude with an excerpt from a traditional Scottish blessing and Gaelic greeting;
And may the blessing of the earth be on you
Soft under your feet as you pass along the roads
Ceud mìle fàilte
(A hundred thousand welcomes)
- Most Rev Mark Strange, Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church
- Rt Revd Dr. Martin Fair, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland
- Ravinder Kaur Nijjar, Advisor Sikhs in Scotland and Chair of Religions for Peace UK Women of Faith Network
- Allan Forsyth, Baha’i Office of Public Affairs (Scotland)
- Isadora Quay, Baha’i Office of Public Affairs (Scotland)
- Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche, Abbot of Kagyu Samye Ling Buddhist Centre
- Ani Lhamo, Kagyu Samye Ling Buddhist Centre
- Bishop Brian McGee, Bishop of Argyll and the Isles, Chair of the Catholic Bishops’ Committee for Interreligious dialogue
- Sr. Isabel Smyth, Sisters of Notre Dame, and Secretary to the Catholic Bishops’ Committee for Interreligious dialogue
- Imam Sayed Razawi, Chief Imam and Director General, Scottish Ahlul Bayt Society
- Ameed Versace, Climate Officer, Scottish Ahlul Bayt Society
- Revd Paul Whittle, Moderator of The United Reformed Church National Synod of Scotland
- Imam Hassan Rabbani, Imam of Zia-Ul-Quran Mosque, Muslim Chaplain at Heriot-Watt Univer-sity, Chair of Scottish Muslim Forum
- Revd Mark Slaney, Chair of the Methodist Church in Scotland
- Madhu Jain, Hindu Mandir Glasgow
- Acharya Ji Mishra, Priest of Hindu Mandir Glasgow
- Rev Bonnie Evans Hills, convener Scottish Episcopal Church Interfaith Relations Committee
- Rabbi David Rose, Edinburgh Hebrew Congregation
- Alan Kay, Chair of Scottish Council of Jewish Communities
- Rabbi Moshe Rubin, Giffnock and Newlands Hebrew Congregation, Senior Rabbi of Scotland
- Linsay Taylor, Muslim Council of Scotland and Chair of Interfaith Scotland
- Revd David Coleman, Minister of the United Reformed Church and Chaplain to Eco-Congrega-tions Scotland
- Shaykh Sohaib Saeed, Al-Furqan Mosque
- Imam Sohail Ashfaque, Blackhall Mosque
- Rev. George Whyte, Principal Clerk to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland
- Imam Abdul Ghafoor, Glasgow Central Mosque
- Jim Pym, Religious Society of Friends General Meeting, Scotland
- Lieut-Colonel Carol Bailey, Secretary for Scotland, The Salvation Army