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Surrey Faith Leaders Ask MPs To ‘Not Leave A Desert To Our Children’ Ahead Of COP 26

Published on: 22 Oct, 2021
Updated on: 29 Oct, 2021

More than 20 faith leaders in Surrey have written to the region’s MPs ahead of the COP 26 Climate Meeting in Glasgow next month, calling for them to do the right thing over the global climate emergency.

They quoted from a statement issued by international faith leaders meeting at the Vatican in Rome this month saying: “We have inherited a garden: we must not leave a desert to our children. Scientists have warned us that there might be only one decade left to restore the planet.”

In the letter delivered on Monday (October 18) they said: “Our ecological crisis doesn’t fit easily with the shorter-term priorities which governments are more used to setting.

“We believe that doing the right thing now will also prove a vote-winner, even if it involves some short-term pain along the way.”

The multi faith leaders urged the MPs to read Code Red for Humanity, the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change’s recent report of the climate crisis. One of the recommendations of the UN group’s report is the need to: “Provide affordable decarbonisation options for all, in homes, diets, transport and work.”

The Bishop of Guildford, the Rt Revd Andrew Watson, was one of the signatories of the open letter to Surrey’s MPs on the upcoming COP 26 on climate change.

The letter said: “We are in contact with many of those people through our networks of faith and are also aware of how climate change is beginning to affect life even here in the UK.

“In response, we are committing ourselves to transformational change in our own lifestyles and those of our faith communities, as well as to prayer, meditation and the work of advocacy.”

The signatories are listed below:

Bernard Jones, secretary, Guildford and Godalming Interfaith Forum
Christopher Frost, chairman, Epsom and Ewell Inter Faith Forum
Dr Bibhas Neogi, chairman, Godalming Baha’i community
Dr Syed Naqvi, chairman, Surrey Muslim Association
Foad Rahimi, chairman, Surrey Heath Faith Forum
The Hafiz M Saeed Hashmi, Head Imam, Shah Jahan Mosque, Woking
Hayet Shahrezaey, secretary, The Baha’is of Guildford
Joynal Ahmed, Imam, Epsom and Ewell Islamic Centre
Kawther Akhtar Hashmi, Surrey Faith Links
Margaret Hicks, chairman, Elmbridge Multi Faith Forum
Meeta Joshi, Hindu Chaplain at the Centre for Religious Life and Belief, University of Surrey
Muhammad Husain Kazi, Imam, Ashford and Staines Community Centre
Rabbi Alex Goldberg, Dean of Religious Life and Belief, University of Surrey
Rabbi Kath Vardi, North West Surrey Synagogue
Rajasingam Kunasingam, chairman, Sri Raja Rajeswary Amman Temple, Epsom
Ray Wicksman, Guildford Synagogue
The Revd Philip A. Simpson, chairman, Woking People of Faith
The Revd Sheena Gabriel, Minister of Godalming Unitarians
Ritesh Aswaney, trustee, Surrey Hindu Cultural Society
The Rt Revd Dr Jo Bailey Wells, Bishop of Dorking
The Rt Revd Andrew John Watson, Bishop of Guildford
The Very Reverend Dianna Gwilliams, Dean of Guildford Cathedral

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