Bristol Quakers' Declaration of Commitment to a response to Climate and Ecological Crisis

In Bristol Area Quaker Meeting for Business (MfB) in January 2020,  in minute 20.10 we recorded:

Sustainability …………………We support the suggestion from Young Friends that we develop a Bristol Quaker Declaration on Climate (& Ecological) Emergency as the first step to moving forward together on this issue.

We ask Kirsty Philbrick and Chris Willmore to bring a draft Declaration back to a future Area Meeting and we ask each Local Meeting to nominate a Champion to work together with Young Friends on possible actions in support of our Declaration.”

The final declaration, as amended and accepted at our February MfB, appears below and we ask our trustees to report regularly & frequently on our progress so we can hold ourselves to account.

Bristol Area Quaker Meeting

Declaration of Commitment to a response to Climate and Ecological Crisis

Bristol Area Quaker Meeting recognises the urgency of the climate and ecological crises facing the planet. These are not new or isolated concerns, they are entangled in wider issues of justice and equality. We are called to respond to uphold our spiritual testimonies.

We commit to working for a future in which we have transformed our relationship with the planet, its resources and each other. We see this as a continuing journey of transition towards a different and better future for the planet and its communities.

As a first step, we commit our Area Meeting to ensure every collective decision is done with due consideration of the impact we make on the environment. Bristol Area Meeting commits to aim for net zero by 2030, and to using its resources to help achieve a just transition. We ask our Trustees to consult widely and bring forward an action plan to achieve that commitment.

We commit to supporting individuals and Local Meetings to discern and take radical action. We ask all Friends to think carefully about their impacts and what they can do. We recognise that not all Friends will be led or able to take the same action, each will find different challenges and inspirations. We commit to love and support each other on what will be, at times, difficult and uncertain journeys.

We will collaborate with individuals, organisations and other Faith communities to work towards a sustainable future and strengthen our witness and action in the world; upholding and moving beyond ‘Our Canterbury Commitment’. We celebrate the rich diversity of responses that are already visible and continue to emerge in the face of these crises.

We set off joyfully, following the leadings of the Spirit and working with others as we reimagine and work towards a better future. We aim to learn, to relish the challenges and create opportunities. We do not know how fast we can travel or the destination, but we are committed to act in hope and truth.

Document accepted at Bristol Area Meeting for Business February 2020, minute 20.25

To open a pdf of the Declaration to download: