Our team in South Africa just sent a quite extraordinary document, a letter from Archbishop Thabo Makgoba to "the people of God" in his country. The Archbishop is the successor to Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu, one of our 350 messengers, and an heir also to the history of the South African church with its powerful history in the apartheid era. We’re reprinting his words in full:

Let me say a little more about the 350.org.  This global organisation reminds me very much of the Jubilee 2000 campaign – when churches and others all around the world lent their combined weight to put pressure on governments to change their stance on debt to the poorest nations of the world.  None of us alone could do this – but together, we made a sufficient impact to force politicians to take the necessary steps.  Now we can confidently do the same for the well-being of our world!  ‘350’ gets its name because this is the highest level of parts per million of carbon dioxide within our atmosphere that is safe and sustainable – yet current levels are around 390.  The immediate goal of the thousands of events being held in over 150 countries of the world is to demand that at the UN Copenhagen Climate Conference in December, governments make firm commitments to get us back to 350 as quickly as possible.  (The website, www.350.org, has more details.)

I will be taking part in a ‘Red Hot Faith-filled Climate Procession’ with other faith leaders, that will begin outside Parliament in Cape Town, and weave around the city centre before culminating in a picnic in the Company Gardens.  We shall all be dressing in, or painting ourselves, red, to point to the current unacceptable overheating of our planet!  We hope to have fun, as we make our voices heard!

What will you do on 24 October?  Find out if there are events in your area (check with 350.org), and join in!  And, if nothing else, make this a focus of your weekend services.  Pray for ‘Climate Justice Now’ (indeed, you might like to do this daily, just as in the past we prayed for political justice).  You could have a minute’s silence to remember the destruction already being done to our world.  Some churches, across denominations, are planning to chime their bells across towns and cities all at the same time on 24 October.  Be imaginative, and make sure there are pictures in the papers!  We want our governments, as well as those of the richer nations of the world, to take seriously the need to treat God’s creation with proper respect, care, and justice, for ‘the Earth is the Lord’s, and all that is in it’.

Thanks to our star supporter Bishop Geoff Davies for bringing the 350.org campaign to the attention of Archbishop Makgoba