Oxford-diocese-divests-meme1Today, Oxford became the first Church of England diocese to pledge to go fossil free and passed a resolution calling on the Church of England to follow their example.

Speaking just after the resolution was passed, Revd Darrell Hannah said:

“I’m overjoyed. We had a good debate with good points on both sides. People recognise the ambiguities of the issue, the importance of the issue, the urgency of the moment, and I’m very pleased the vote went the way it did. Oxford Diocese, true to its history, is challenging the Church of England as a whole to take seriously the threat of climate change and what we as Christians do about it.”

Join Oxford Diocese in calling for the Church of England to divest from oil, coal and gas companies!

Operation Noah’s Vice-Chair, Mark Letcher, said:

“This resolution demonstrates how seriously local churches and dioceses are taking the issue of disinvestment. Following recent commitments from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, a national pension fund in Sweden, and the University of Glasgow, the decision today increases the pressure on the Church of England – which still has over £60 million invested in fossil fuel companies – to disinvest.”

Oxford Diocesan Synod passed the resolution with a majority of 52 in favour, 37 opposed and seven abstentions. As well as pledging to divest from fossil fuels, the Diocese has also committed to actively explore opportunities for reinvestment in clean energy alternatives. The resolution was brought forward by Revd Darrell Hannah, Rector from All Saints Church in Ascot Heath and an Operation Noah trustee. It was accompanied by two supporting motions from Bracknell and Cowley Deaneries.

The Diocese of Oxford joins a growing number of fossil-free Churches and faith communities around the world, now including the World Council of Churches, the Church of Sweden, Quakers in Britain, the Uniting Church of Australia, the Presbyterian Church in New Zealand and the United Church of Christ in the US. Three Australian and five New Zealand Anglican dioceses have also disinvested, while the Anglican Church in Australia has passed a motion recommending divestment to all its member churches.

Ellie Roberts, divestment campaigner for Operation Noah said:

“We are delighted that Oxford has joined faith communities from all regions of the globe in refusing to profit from or provide finance to the fossil fuel industry. Fossil fuel companies continue to base their business strategies on ever greater expansion and use of fossil fuel reserves, despite the fact that the vast majority of existing reserves must remain in the ground to preserve the viability of our planet. By disinvesting, Churches are sending the clearest possible signal to fossil companies that they need to completely rethink their business strategies now. They also demonstrate their commitment to stand with the poorest and most vulnerable communities, who are already suffering the impacts of climate change.”

For more information about Operation Noah’s campaign to divest UK churches from fossil fuels, visit: brightnow.org.uk

For more climate movement news, follow 350 on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram