CONGREGATIONS across the country are being urged to join a litter-picking project to clean up Britain, ready for the Queen’s 90th birthday on 21 April.
Over the weekend of 4-6 March, the campaign Clean for the Queen wants to motivate a million people to collect rubbish dropped in their neighbourhood.
The campaign’s director, Adrian Evans, said last week: “It’s really simple: we are encouraging people to delve into the cupboard under the sink, pull out a bin liner, put on their rubber gloves, and get out and have some fun clearing litter in their area. Do that with a sense of pride in where you live, and because it heralds the Queen’s birthday.
“The idea of cleaning up before a great party is always something we tend to do. It’s easy for anyone, irrespective of age or capacity.
“The Church is so important in getting that message out, because it is very much a grass-roots thing. If it works at parish level, it will work at any level. It’s social action for positive good.”
Businesses, groups, and organisations are being urged to post details of their activities on the campaign website to show others where to help. Two-thirds of English local authorities have pledged support, as have Buckingham Palace and Clarence House. Several big companies, including McDonald’s, KFC, and Costa Coffee, are promoting the clean-up. Pupils in 28,000 primary schools are being asked to tidy around their schools.
British people are particularly bad litter louts, Mr Evans says. “In many of our European counterparts, and further afield, pride of place takes a much stronger hold of people during their primary education. They promote the idea that, by littering, you are making the place where you live less beautiful. In the UK, we don’t have that messaging.
“This is a real opportunity for our wonderful landscape to be saved from this awful blight. In an age when budgets are being cut everywhere, we shouldn’t be spending £1 billion a year clearing up litter: it’s just such a profligate thing to be doing.”
Birthday collects. Two collects have been approved by the Queen to mark her 90th birthday. They are for use in services during the national celebrations in April, and again on her official birthday in June. Two graces have also been published for use at events such as street parties.
The National Liturgy and Worship Adviser for the Church of England, Dr Matthew Salisbury, said: “The prayers offer thanksgiving and praise for the long service of the Queen. They ask that, through God’s grace, and inspired by her example of faith and service for others, we may all receive strength and wisdom in our own lives.”
To see the full texts, visit: https://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-worship/topical-prayers/prayers-for-the-queen’s-90th-birthday.aspx.