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Prayers for Tomorrow delivered to Downing Street

19 June 2023
UK - Westminster - CAFOD group delivers Prayers for Tomorrow to Downing Street

Sr Karen d'Artois joined CAFOD campaigners delivering the prayers to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak

Hundreds of 'Prayers for Tomorrow' written by Catholics calling for action to tackle the climate crisis have been shared with Number 10 Downing Street.

The prayers, which included pleas for the Holy Spirit to guide world leaders, were inspired by Pope Francis's call for people to reflect on what type of world future generations will inherit unless action is taken to halt the climate emergency.

CAFOD campaigners delivered the Prayers for Tomorrow to the Prime Minister during Great Big Green Week – a UK-wide celebration of action to tackle the climate crisis.

The visit to Downing Street also came ahead of world leaders meeting in Paris to discuss how to countries on the frontline of the climate crisis can access money to rebuild from disasters and prepare for future climate catastrophes. Reports indicate Rishi Sunak won't be attending the summit.

'Prayer is a powerful instrument'

Sister Karen d'Artois, who was part of the CAFOD group visiting Downing Street, said:

“It’s amazing and inspiring to see how many people of all ages have been praying for our common home, and for our most vulnerable sisters and brothers who are suffering from a climate crisis they did not cause. We have to take responsibility for our actions and change our ways.

“Prayer is a powerful instrument. Not only do we acknowledge our failure to care for Creation, but we ask God for guidance to bring about change – starting with our own behaviours, small steps. Our prayer brings communities together to create change.

"Most important, I pray for courage and conversion of heart in our civil authorities: that our world leaders hear the cries of those suffering from the climate crisis, and act to put the interests of our global family first.”

What needs to happen at COP28?

The annual UN climate talks in 2023 – COP28 – will take place in December in the United Arab Emirates.

As one of the largest historic emitters of the greenhouse gases driving the climate crisis, we’re calling for the UK government to play its part by taking action on three fronts:

  1. Push for the world to consign fossil fuels to history in order to keep global temperature rises below 1.5C. Staying below this limit can only be achieved by stopping all new oil, coal and gas projects and rapidly phasing out existing production.

  2. Fund the Loss & Damage Fund with new money from grants, rather than loans which will only exacerbate the debt crisis faced by low-income countries. Governments at COP27 agreed to set up this fund to support countries suffering from the impacts of climate catastrophes.

  3. Support small-scale farmers who are growing food in ways that protect nature rather than harm it. The government must channel financial and technical support towards small-scale farmers and away from big agricultural companies that are damaging the environment.

Answering Pope Francis's call

Liam Finn, Campaigns Manager at CAFOD, said:

“Reading the Prayers for Tomorrow people have been sharing with us, it’s clear how committed Catholics in England and Wales are to responding to Pope Francis’s call to care for our common home.

“We want to thank the hundreds of CAFOD supporters who’ve given the time to share their prayers with us and inspire us to keep calling for action to tackle the climate crisis today for the sake of our global family tomorrow.”

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