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C of E releases sceptical prayers for the England team

13 June 2014


Warming up: the  England manager, Roy Hodgson, speaks to his players during a training session at Urca Military Training Ground, Rio de Janeiro, on Monday 

Warming up: the  England manager, Roy Hodgson, speaks to his players during a training session at Urca Military Training Gro...

THE faith of the Church of England does not appear to extend to its football team. Asked to come up with prayers for England success in the World Cup, the Bishop of Leeds, the Rt Revd Nick Baines, came up with just two words - part invocation, part helpless lament: "Oh God. . ."

It comes in a set of prayers released by the Church of England communications office to coincide with the start of the World Cup in Brazil.

Bishop Baines's prayers include ones for Brazil, the tournament, and even those uninterested in football.

A second prayer for England is an adaptation of the 20th-century translation of a prayer by Bishop Richard of Chichester (d. 1253), asking that England players "might run more clearly, pass more nearly and enjoy the game more dearly".

A die-hard Liverpool fan, Bishop Baines said: "God is not partisan, and there are bigger things to pray for around the world, not least in Iraq, Nigeria, and Sudan, to name but three.

"For the next few weeks at least, the passions and hearts of millions of men, women and children around the world will be focused on Brazil, where I'm pretty sure there will be lots of prayers being offered up throughout the tournament.

"I know some have suggested it might take too much of a miracle for England to win the World Cup - my hope is that the World Cup would be a reminder of the joy of a nation coming together in a common cause, something that in itself is worth celebrating."


Leader comment: Pray for the World Cup


A Prayer for the World Cup

Lord of all the nations, who played the cosmos into being, guide, guard and protect all who work or play in the World Cup.
May all find in this competition a source of celebration, an experience of common humanity and a growing attitude of generous sportsmanship to others.

A Prayer for Brazil

God of the nations, who has always called his people to be a blessing for the world, bless all who take part in the World Cup.
Smile on Brazil in her hosting,
on the nations represented in competition and on those who travel to join in the party.

A prayer for those simply not interested

Lord, as all around are gripped with World Cup fever, bless us with understanding, strengthen us with patience and grant us the gift of sympathy if needed.

Prayers  for the England Football team

"Oh God..."

"God, who played the cosmos into being, please help England rediscover their legs, their eyes and their hunger: that they might run more clearly, pass more nearly and enjoy the game more dearly. Amen."

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