[Anglican Communion News Service] Churches across Wales are being urged to switch off all lights or hold candlelit vigils to mark Earth Hour at 8.30 pm on Saturday 19 March. In doing so, they will join in with people across the world in what has been described as “a symbolic act to shine a light on climate change and the need to protect our environment.”
An estimated half-a-million people across Wales took part in the 2015 Earth Hour, and half of Welsh local authorities supported the campaign. Key landmarks across the country, such as the Senedd, Caerphilly Castle and Welsh universities and churches went dark for the hour.
They joined the international landmarks such as the Eiffel Tour and Sydney Opera House in 172 participating countries across the globe.
Earth Hour is organised by the WWF charity and this year marks its 10th year. Participating churches are being asked to register their involvement and add themselves to the online Earth Hour map.
The first to register is St Peter’s Church in Carmarthen town centre.
“We’re encouraging all churches and parishioners to mark Earth Hour,” the Bishop of Swansea and Brecon, the Rt Revd John Davies, said. The bishop, who speaks on behalf of the Church in Wales’ environment group, CHASE (Church Action for Sustaining the Environment), added: “Switching off our lights for an hour or holding a candlelit service is a small gesture which has huge implications. It reminds us of the part all of us have to play in combating climate change and being responsible stewards of the wonderful gift that is creation.”
Anne Meikle, thehead of WWF in Wales, said, “Earth Hour won’t solve climate change, but it presents a stepping stone to further action, by encouraging people to go beyond the hour.
“Churches can play a vital role in raising awareness of Earth Hour, engaging with your community and inspiring others to live sustainably.”