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Brighton’s Brighthelm becomes first UK church to divest from fossil fuels



Brighthelm United Reformed Church (URC) in Brighton is set to become the first church congregation in the UK to divest from fossil fuels, following calls for divestment from the Christian charity Operation Noah.

Brighthelm minister Rev Alex Mabbs said, “One of our core values at Brighthelm is sustainability. It is clear that the burning of fossil fuels is not sustainable and increasingly intensive extraction methods are causing extreme 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.”

The church was inspired by the Bright Now campaign, which is co-ordinated by Christian charity Operation Noah.

Mark Letcher, vice-chair of Operation Noah, welcomed the divestment announcement. He said, “We are greatly encouraged that Brighthelm has added its voice to the global fossil fuel disinvestment movement spreading across churches around the world.

“As well as working to bring about change within national denominations we are also encouraging individual churches that hold investments to disinvest. This is an important step, and we are delighted that a mainstream UK church has taken this lead.”

The Quakers in Britain announced their intention to pull finance away from high-carbon energy firms last year, saying they were incompatible with Christianity.

Meanwhile, the Church of England said earlier this year that it will review its investment policy in relation to fossil fuels, following strong calls for it to divest.

Photo:  Greg Walters via flickr

Further reading:

Church of England to debate climate change amid calls for fossil fuel divestment

Operation Noah holds church to account over fossil fuels divestment

Christian charity: we must divest from, not engage with, fossil fuels firms

Quakers launch initiative to buy 100% clean power from Good Energy

Quakers: fossil fuel investment ‘incompatible’ with Christianity and low-carbon goals


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