Campaigners have welcomed a new statement from the Church of England on nuclear weapons.
Kate Hudson, CND general secretary, said:
“It’s very significant news that The Church of England has made a statement on nuclear weapons. It highlights the need to ‘work tirelessly for their elimination across the world’ and calls on the British government to ‘respond positively’ to the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
“It’s important because the government is charging in the opposite direction. It boycotted the talks that led to the ban treaty, turning its back on over 122 countries and saying it won’t sign up. In 2016 Parliament voted through a plan to spend £205 billion on replacing Trident, Britain’s nuclear weapons system.
“The imminent and catastrophic threat of nuclear weapons will not go away while the government continues this head-in-the-sand approach. We hope this intervention from the Church of England will help put nuclear abolition back on the government’s agenda.”
Full text of the motion
That this Synod, mindful that a faithful commemoration of the centenary of the 1918 Armistice must commit the Church afresh to peace building; and conscious that nuclear weapons, through their indiscriminate and destructive potential, present a distinct category of weaponry that requires Christians to work tirelessly for their elimination across the world:
(a) welcome the 2017 UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and the clear signal it sends by a majority of UN Member States that nuclear weapons are both dangerous and unnecessary;
(b) call on Her Majesty’s Government to respond positively to the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons by reiterating publicly its obligations under Article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and its strategy for meeting them; and
(c) commit the Church of England to work with its Anglican Communion and ecumenical partners in addressing the regional and international security concerns which drive nations to possess and seek nuclear weapons and to work towards achieving a genuine peace through their elimination.