Anglican Bishops call on government to sign the Ban Treaty

31 Anglican Bishops in England have signed an open letter calling on the UK government to sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which comes into force in January 2021 after securing its 50th ratification in October.

The letter is led by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and the Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell, who was influential in General Synod passing a motion in support of the Treaty in 2018. Published in the Observer on Sunday 15 November welcomes the Treaty which it says is an “encouraging and hopeful sign”. The Bishops commit themselves to work and pray for the ratification of the Treaty by the UK. They say that the UK joining the Treaty would “give hope to all people of goodwill who seek a peaceful future”.

There are many Bishops on the list who will be familiar to Christian CND supporters including Bishop Alan Smith and Bishop Roger Morris who spoke at our recent Thanksgiving Service for the Treaty. Many of those on the list also signed our recent statement marking the 75th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, calling on the government to use the occasion to cancel plans to replace Britain’s nuclear weapons system.

We look forward to working with the Bishops and many other clergy members in the Church of England and other denominations, to bring the UK to the table and secure the signature and ratification of the Treaty. please join us as we thank God for this letter and the significant impact it will have at home and overseas.

Christian CND is planning lots of activity in the run up to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons entering into force on January 22, keep an eye on our social media channels and website for more information.

The full text of the letter and list of signatories:

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 f acilitating 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.

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