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Liturgical Commission backs Creationtide

by
20 February 2008

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From the Bishop of Wakefield
Sir, — In his article “The Church must celebrate creation” (Comment, 8 February), the Very Revd Dr David Edwards calls for a new festival that can unite people from all three Abrahamic religions to pray and work for the future of the planet.

As Dr Edwards reported, he is not alone in this wish, since Churches in Europe, and indeed Australia and the US, have already begun to celebrate Creationtide. I am writing to report that plans are already being taken forward here.

The Church of England’s Liturgical Commission was asked to reflect on this, and supports the initiative originally taken by the Ecumenical Patriarch and the proposal endorsed by the European Ecumenical Assembly that there should be a celebration within the period 1 September to 4 October to be “dedicated to prayer for the protection of Creation and the promotion of sustainable lifestyles that reverse our contribution to climate change”.

Many hope that the English Churches will endorse the idea, which might then be broadened to include the other Abrahamic faiths.

Plans have already begun to be made in the C of E. They include a major celebration at St Paul’s Cathedral. We hope that other cathedrals and, indeed, all parish churches will choose at least one Sunday during this time to find ways of participating.

These are still early days. With Dr Edwards, we would encourage all churches to see A Time for God’s Creation as an opportunity to show how caring for creation should be core-business for Christians.

We hope that in 2008 we shall experience the beginnings of worship that will reflect both the concern and joy we share and glory in as we celebrate and conserve Creation.
STEPHEN WAKEFIELD
Bishop’s Lodge
Woodthorpe Lane
Wakefield WF2 6JL

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