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The resources, curated by Canon Vicky Johnson of Ely Cathedral, will allow churches to take part in a Creationtide season, running from 1 September until 4 October every year.
Creationtide is originally an Eastern Orthodox initiative, but has now spread widely among Anglican, Roman Catholic and Protestant congregations, bringing Christians together to pray and work for the protection of the environment that sustains everyone.
Pope Francis gave a major boost to the profile of Creationtide when, speaking before nearly 2 million people at the World Youth Day in Krakow, he declared 1 September an annual ‘World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation’.
The Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury and the Church of England’s lead bishop on the environment, said:“These liturgical resources provide richly for churches celebrating Creationtide. Celebrating Creationtide marks a shift in the Christian understanding of our relationship to creation under God. The consequences of teaching over recent centuries that humanity has been given domination over creation are clear in the complex environmental crisis we now face. It is important that Christians rediscover older traditions of a godly relationship of humanity to the wider created order.
“Creationtide is important ecumenically too. The concept was introduced by the Ecumenical Patriarch in 1989, and is spreading widely in Western Christianity. The Pope’s declaration of an annual day of prayer on 1 September will give the profile of Creationtide a significant boost. Creationtide therefore represents an important Orthodox contribution to the deepening of common Christian values across historic denominational divisions.”
Canon Vicky Johnson, Residentiary Canon at Ely Cathedral, added: “For Christians, the earth does not belong to us – it belongs to God, and therefore deserves our respect and care. This is an ancient understanding – reading Psalm 24, for example, it is clear that it goes right back to the worship in the Temple in Jerusalem almost 3000 years ago.
“The growing concern about creation and the environment has made the Church aware that it needs to garner its liturgical resources to give full expression to this in worship and prayer. The care of our environment, and attentiveness to the created order, are central to the Church’s mission, which calls us to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.
“The resources include material that works in the context of both traditional Anglican liturgy and more informal worship, as well as material for all-age worship, and more general material for prayer, biblical study and reflection.”
Church of England Creationtide resources