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The Diocese of Oxford voted to disinvest from fossil fuel companies at its Diocesan Synod on 15 November – and called upon the Church of England as a whole to take this step.
The Synod passed the resolution with a majority of 52 in favour, 37 against, and seven abstentions. As well as pledging to divest from fossil fuels, the Diocese has also committed to explore opportunities for reinvestment in clean energy alternatives.
The resolution was brought forward by Revd Darrell Hannah, Rector from All Saints Church in Ascot Heath and an Operation Noah trustee. It was accompanied by two supporting motions from Bracknell and Cowley Deaneries.
Speaking after the debate he said: “I’m overjoyed. We had a good debate with good points on both sides. People recognise the ambiguities of the issue, the importance of the issue, the urgency of the moment, and I’m very pleased the vote went the way it did. Oxford Diocese, true to its history, is challenging the Church of England as a whole to take seriously the threat of climate change and what we as Christians do about it.”
The motion also called upon the General Synod (the Church of England’s Parliament) to debate a similar motion on disinvestment. If there is sufficient support, the motion will be considered by a future meeting of the General Synod.
Responding to the vote, the Rt Revd Colin Fletcher, Acting Bishop of Oxford, said: “The debate was lively but good tempered, and we heard a range of contributions from the different ends of the spectrum on this this important issue. Now we look forward to it coming onto the General Synod’s agenda.”