Solar Panels in Churches Called for by Bishop
by: Ruth Gledhill 8 December 2006
A senior Church of England bishop condemned modern society's "autistic" way of life yesterday which he said was wrecking the planet's environment. He called on churches and other places of worship to reduce global warming by installing solar panels on their rooftops.
The Right Rev Richard Chartres made his latest controversial green intervention at St James's Palace, London, where he helped to promote the Prince of Wales's new Accounting for Sustainability project.
In a letter in yesterday's Times, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor and other faith leaders called on religious leaders, politicians and the public to "act together" in taking a reverent and responsible approach to the environment.
Bishop Chartres, who chairs the Church of England bishops' panel on the environment and said earlier this year that taking holiday flights or buying a large car without thinking of the consequences was a "symptom of sin", told his audience at St James's Palace that this generation was living off the environmental capital that should be passed on to the next.
He said that it was time for religion, science, politics and economics to join in a "new holism" to protect the environment. He admitted that churches and other religious bodies had been slow to join the debate on global warming. This was partly because they feared that a concern for the environment could distract from the needs of the world's poor.
Humans should regard themselves as "stewards" of the Earth, Bishop Chartres said.