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Byron Shire
December 3, 2021

Church bells ring for climate action

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Reverend Rosie Wynter, Community Priest for Byron Shire Anglican Parish, tolling the bell for Climate Awareness at Byron’s St Paul’s Church. Photo Jeff ‘Hells Bells’ Dawson.

With COP26 just around the corner (and across an ocean or two) everybody is trying to get their climate action message across in the best way they know how.

The Anglican Parish of Byron rang their bells as a wake-up call for the cause for 10 minutes on Saturday at their three main churches: All Soul’s Bangalow, St Paul’s Byron Bay, and St Martin’s Mullumbimby.

Anne Wareing from Anglican Parish of Byron says, ‘We mostly associate church bells with the call to worship, weddings and very special national celebrations. But they also have another historic function: to ring out warnings’.

A time of real national crisis

‘Here at The Anglican Parish of Byron, we believe that this is a time of real national crisis, and so on Saturday, October 30 at 6pm, we rang our bells to warn the people of Byron Shire of the threat we face.

‘The IPCC report has stated unequivocally that the extreme weather events, which have swept the globe, are the consequence of man-made climate change. The UN Secretary General has signalled “Code Red for Humanity”, which he would not do lightly.

‘Our planet has given us warning after warning, through floods, wildfires, droughts, heat domes and hurricanes, that we have profoundly affected the balance of the planet and are making it increasingly hostile to humankind.

‘There can no longer be any doubt that humanity is now in mortal danger… and on a global scale.

‘Here in the Byron Shire the extreme weather events have affected our Community, but as Christians, we are also concerned with the millions around the world who are being profoundly affected: the poor who have contributed the least to the problem.

‘We need our political leaders to take the courageous and, if necessary, selfless actions that times of extreme emergency require’.

‘The nations of the global south are already suffering the severest effects of drought, crop failures, hurricanes and cyclones. But the poor in this country will also be the first to suffer from rising food prices, heat exhaustion or the inability to insure their homes and businesses against floods.

On Monday, in Glasgow, the UK is hosting the 26th International Conference to address the Climate Crisis. So far, those conferences have failed to slow the rate of greenhouse gas emissions, allowing us to continue the path of self-destruction.

‘We need our political leaders to take the courageous and, if necessary, selfless actions that times of extreme emergency require’.

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