Bishop of Aston in call to prohibit nuclear weapons

Bishop of Aston, the Right Revd Anne Hollinghurst (pictured), is one of the 31 Church of England bishops who are calling on the Government to sign the United Nations’ Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Bishop Anne joins 29 fellow-bishops, plus Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell, in signing the open letter.

The treaty will come into force on 22 January 2021, having attained the necessary 50-signatory threshold for this to happen. None of the world’s existing nuclear powers are among the signatories to the treaty. The letter signed by the Archbishops and Bishops says,

‘As bishops of the Church of England, we warmly welcome and applaud the recent ratification, by the required number of member states, of the United Nations’ Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and we rejoice that the treaty will therefore come into force on 22 January 2021.

For so many of the nations of the world to speak clearly of the need to ban these weapons of mass destruction is an encouraging and hopeful sign. We commit ourselves to pray and to work so that this ratification will indeed help to see an end to nuclear weapons in the future. We very much regret that the UK, together with other nuclear states, has not yet signed the accord. We call on the UK government to do so and thereby to give hope to all people of goodwill who seek a peaceful future.

We echo the UN secretary general who ‘commends the states that have ratified the treaty and salutes the work of civil society, which has been instrumental in facilitating the negotiation and ratification of the treaty.’ Accordingly, we renew our support for the work of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, together with sister organisations and agencies in each nation, whose advocacy and commitment continues to make such a difference.’

The 31 signatories to the letter are (in alphabetical order):
Rt Revd Richard Atkinson (Bishop of Bedford)
Rt Revd Jo Bailey Wells (Bishop of Dorking)
Rt Revd Paul Bayes (Bishop of Liverpool)
Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth (Bishop of Coventry)
Rt Revd Pete Broadbent (Bishop of Willesden)
Rt Revd Sarah Bullock (Bishop of Shrewsbury)
Rt Revd Jonathan Clark (Bishop of Croydon)
Rt Revd David Court (Bishop of Grimsby)
Most Revd Stephen Cottrell (Archbishop of York)
Rt Revd Guli Francis-Dehqani (Bishop of Loughborough)
Rt Revd Jonathan Goodall (Bishop of Ebbsfleet)
Rt Revd Martin Gorick (Bishop of Dudley)
Rt Revd Olivia Graham (Bishop of Reading)
Rt Revd Clive Gregory (Bishop of Wolverhampton)
Rt Revd Joanne Grenfell (Bishop of Stepney)
Rt Revd David Hamid (Suffragan Bishop in Europe)
Rt Revd Peter Hill (Bishop of Barking)
Rt Revd Anne Hollinghurst (Bishop of Aston)
Rt Revd John Inge (Bishop of Worcester)
Rt Revd Roger Morris (Bishop of Colchester)
Rt Revd Philip North (Bishop of Burnley)
Rt Revd John Perumbalath (Bishop of Bradwell)
Rt Revd Lee Rayfield (Bishop of Swindon)
Rt Revd Tony Robinson (Bishop of Wakefield)
Rt Revd Alan Smith (Bishop of St Albans)
Rt Revd John Thomson (Bishop of Selby)
Rt Revd Graham Tomlin (Bishop of Kensington)
Rt Revd Rachel Treweek (Bishop of Gloucester)
Rt Revd David Walker (Bishop of Manchester)
Most Revd Justin Welby (Archbishop of Canterbury)
Rt Revd Pete Wilcox (Bishop of Sheffield)

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