400+ Christian Leaders Call on Prime Minister to Stop Rosebank Oil Field

5 October 2023

In an open letter, 427 UK Christian leaders, including former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and Archbishop of Glasgow William Nolan, call on the PM to stop the Rosebank oil field

Thursday 5 October 2023: More than 400 Christian leaders from around the UK have today called on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to cancel the Rosebank oil field, which Christian charity and Church leaders say ‘will not provide energy security, uphold our obligations to care for our global neighbours or create sustainable jobs fit for the green energy future we need’. 

‘As Christian leaders from around the UK, we do not take a partisan view on Rosebank, we take a moral view. It’s time to show international and moral leadership – and stop Rosebank.’ 

Among the 427 signatories to the open letter are 20 Catholic and Anglican bishops, including the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rt Revd Rowan Williams, and the Archbishop of Glasgow, Rt Revd William Nolan, one of the most senior Roman Catholic leaders in Scotland and the UK. 

Other signatories include the Bishop of Oxford (Rt Revd Stephen Croft); Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church (Most Revd Mark Strange); Head of UK Advocacy and Campaigns at Christian Aid (Jennifer Larbie); General Secretary of the Baptist Union of Wales (Revd Judith Morris); Moderator of the the United Reformed Church’s National Synod of Scotland (Revd Paul Whittle); and Campaigns Lead for the Young Christian Climate Network (Dr Chris Manktelow). 

The letter from Church and charity leaders comes a day after Pope Francis issued a papal document, pushing back against climate denial, defending climate protestors and calling for decisive action as ‘the world in which we live is collapsing and may be near breaking point’. 

As the open letter from Christian leaders to the Prime Minister states, ‘Your government will know that both the International Energy Agency and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have been clear that we cannot afford to burn all the oil and gas from existing fossil fuel developments, let alone from new ones, and still limit global heating to 1.5°C’. 

Rt Revd Rowan Williams, said, ‘We need to remember that postponing action on the climate is not a neutral matter but makes the problem more acute. Do we really want to leave the next generation with a challenge even more hard and costly than the one we face today?’ 

Nicky Bull, Vice Chair of Operation Noah, said, ‘UK Church leaders understand that this is not a time for political partisanship, but a time for moral clarity. Stopping Rosebank is a moral imperative, something faith leaders have made clear with today’s letter.’ 

View the full letter and list of signatories here.

Operation Noah is a Christian environmental charity working with the Church to inspire action on the climate crisis. (www.operationnoah.org).

Post expires on December 8th, 2023

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