THE Bishop of Chelmsford, Rt Revd John Gladwin, whose diocese includes Thurrock, has called on Christians of all traditions to speak up and ensure that the 2008 Climate Change Bill is as strong and effective as possible.

The Bishop was speaking at a Service in St Paul's Cathedral today to mark the culmination of Christian Aid's Cut the carbon' march. He is Chair of Christian Aid.

The march, which began in mid-July in Northern Ireland, lasted 80 days and covered 1,000 miles.

The Bishop said: "Secretary General of the UN has said this past week that the reality of Climate Change must now be taken as given truth.

"Our carbon polluted feet are a basic cause of global warming. We must stop thinking this is a novel thesis up for debate and treat it as a reality we have to face and challenge.

"Why else would a group of people walk across our land and give so much of themselves on the way if there is no vision of the future burning in their hearts?

"Every time I have the privilege of visiting sisters and brothers in the developing world I am always stirred by how young are the people and how, in spite of the appalling and death dealing challenges being faced, they look in hope towards a new and better future.

"Whether it is among the villages of the Samburu in Kenya surrounded by fields where the harvest has failed again - and today almost certainly washed away - or in the hills where farmers struggle to know what to do in the face of the ever warmer climate - people have not lost hope.

"But they call upon us to act. Our dirty feet are hurting them.

"The only question for us is whether we are going to play our part in making their dreams possible. No longer are we free to do what we wish as if our actions played no part in the lives of the poorest.

"When we plunder the earth's resources and abuse the rhythms of nature we deepen the poverty of others. We encourage death and despair and undermine life and hope.

"The challenge is personal to reform our lifestyle.

"The challenge is corporate and social demanding new values, cultures and policies in which we roll back the damage we are doing to the creation held in the love of Jesus and to the people made in God's image. It is the classic Christian movement of repentance, faith and obedience.

"In 2008, our Parliament will be working on the Climate Change Bill. We must welcome this opportunity. The voice of Christians of all traditions needs to raise itself to ensure that this new Bill is as strong and effective as we can make it.

"The seriousness of our commitment will be tested by the need to raise the cut in do all that lies in our power to turn the patterns of creation into patterns of life for the poorest people in our world.

"This will be a profound moral test for our society and an opportunity to join our feet to those of the marchers whose witness we celebrate today."