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Church of Ireland Notes from ‘The Irish Times’

Responding to the Afghan Crisis

The General Synod’s Commission for Christian Unity and Dialogue has advised of the following on–line meeting next Tuesday from 2pm until 4pm.

How should the Churches and Christians respond to the Afghan crisis in ways that can make a real difference in the lives of those impacted by this tragedy?  This question will be considered by the Churches’ Refugee Network at its annual meeting, where attendees will hear from Welcome Churches and Refugees at Home – two organisations which are involved in addressing the crisis.

The network will also be hearing from the Revd Dr Inderjit Bhogal, Leader of the Church of Sanctuary project, who will explore strategies from a policy perspective.  Finally, Brussels–based Dr Torsten Moritz, General Secretary of the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe, will discuss how Churches in continental Europe are responding to this crisis

The Churches’ Refugee Network forms part of the work of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland.

Intending participants may register here.

Recent reports have suggested that there is a worrying resistance to climate change measures among the Irish population. If this is so, then it is vital that the Churches set an example of what may be possible.

The Church of Ireland will complete its divestment from companies that extract fossil fuels by the end of this year, therefore meeting its target date of 2022 and this will fulfil a commitment made at the 2018 General Synod, to the effect that companies where more than 10% of turnover is derived from fossil fuel extraction would – by 2022 – be excluded from investments made by the Representative Church Body.

Through its Climate Change Policy, the RCB seeks to mitigate and lower the climate change impact within its investment portfolios and has taken several steps in this regard over the past number of years, including collaborative engagement, investments in wind and solar energy and forestry, the implementation of restrictions for investments in coal mining and tar sands, and several disposals and divestments.

The policy relates to direct investments and exposure via acquisition and/or takeovers is reviewed on a case–by–case basis by the RCB’s Investment Committee, which will continue to monitor and review companies that appear not to be aligned with the long–term transition to a low–carbon economy and engage and/or divest as considered appropriate.

The RCB is also a member of the Church Investors Group and the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, which provide investors with a collaborative platform for engagement with public policy–makers and the exchange of expertise on climate change issues.  It is also a founding signatory and supporter of the Climate Action 100+ initiative which engages with the world’s largest corporate greenhouse gas emitters with a view to curbing emissions, strengthening climate disclosures, and improving climate governance.

The Church of Ireland Environmental Charter was approved by General Synod in 2015 and asks all parishes to play their part in the stewardship of creation, by recognising and reducing waste, increasing their environmental awareness, exercising leadership through environmental responsibility, identifying spiritually and practically with the developing world, and influencing policy.

The Church has also been a member of Eco–Congregation Ireland since its foundation in 2005 – Eco–Congregation Ireland is an ecumenical initiative to encourage Christians to celebrate the gift of God’s creation, recognise the inter–dependence of all creation, and care for it in their life and mission and through members’ personal lifestyles.

The Church of Ireland representative and chairman of Eco–Congregation Ireland is Canon Andrew Orr.

Church of Ireland Notes

Published in the Saturday edition of The Irish Times

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