Bells Ring Out for COP26

Cathedral bells ring out for the climate emergency on the eve of COP26

Cathedral bells will ring out across their cities this Saturday on the eve of the United Nations Climate Conference to welcome world leaders and remind them of the climate emergency we face and the responsibility they hold for all our futures.

From Carlisle to Truro, Durham to York Minster, Sheffield to Guildford and Lichfield to St Edmundsbury, all the Church of England cathedrals that are able to, have confirmed they will ring their bells for 30 minutes from 6pm this Saturday. (See list of cathedrals confirmed so far below)

They join other churches in the nationwide Ring Out For Climate Change campaign, led by Edward Gildea, a Christian Aid climate campaign organiser from Essex.

The UN Climate Conference, CoP26, will see 196 world leaders and an expected 20,000 delegates meet in Glasgow and work together to commit to a reduction in emissions to avoid a climate emergency.

It comes just months after the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change described global warming as a “code red for humanity“.

The Very Revd Adrian Dorber, who chairs the Association of English Cathedrals and is Dean of Lichfield, said:

“The start of the COP26 conference marks a serious moment of decision for the whole world. It is only right that Cathedrals up and down the country add their distinctive sound to the call for those right actions that will sustain and help heal our planet.

“We are committed as a Church to implement all the measures that get us to net carbon zero by 2030; we join everyone across the world wanting action and commitment to safeguarding the integrity of the whole creation.

The campaign has already been endorsed by the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Revd Graham Usher, the CoE’s lead bishop on the environment, who will join the delegation in Glasgow and present some of the 9,000 pledges made by visitors to the National History Museum’s Dippy on Tour in Norwich Cathedral which encouraged visitors to consider their own footprint on the planet.

Bishop Graham said:

“Church bells have traditionally been rung through the centuries to raise the alarm for local communities. The recent “code red” report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is an alarm call for us all. 

Carlisle, Chichester, Chelmsford, Durham, Gloucester, Guildford, Hereford, Cathedral Isle of Man, Lichfield, Newcastle, Norwich, Peterborough, Ripon, Sheffield, Southwell Minster, St Edmundsbury, Truro, Winchester, Worcester, York Minster, and Manchester have confirmed so far.