Brighthelm first UK church to divest

Brighthelm share tear-upInspired by the Bright Now campaign, Brighthelm Church and Community Centre in Brighton is pulling out of funding fossil fuels, making it the first church in the UK to divest.

Like many charities, Brighthelm has investments across a portfolio of businesses. Brighthelm’s trustees have now decided to sell their investments in fossil fuel companies.

Brighthelm’s minister, Revd Alex Mabbs said, “We don’t want our money to support an industry that is killing the planet. Instead, we want to contribute to a world in which all life can flourish.”

“One of our core values at Brighthelm is sustainability.  It is increasingly clear that the burning of fossil fuels is not sustainable. Through its direct effect on climate change and increasingly intensive extraction methods it is causing huge damage to the environment and harming animals, plants and humans. We don’t want our money to support an industry that is killing the planet.  Instead, we want to contribute to a world in which all life can flourish,” Revd Mabbs continued.

“We have a long way to go before we stop burning carbon at Brighthelm, but this feels like an important step in the right direction,” he added.

Brighthelm church divestsBrighthelm Church is part of the United Reformed Church.

Bright Now is a campaign run by Operation Noah, an ecumenical Christian charity providing leadership, focus and inspiration in response to the growing threat of catastrophic climate change. It calls on churches in the UK to divest from fossil fuels, take leadership in the debate about investments in fossil fuels and adopt investment policies that support the development of alternatives to fossil fuels.

Besides encouraging individual churches to divest, Bright Now is working to effect change at the national church denomination level, as well. Among others, it runs for instance a petition to the Church of England.

This text is amended from a blog that was originally posted on brightnow.org.uk.