God of creation, who loves all he has made and all that has evolved,
open the eyes of your people, that your love might be reflected in our care for the planet.
Through Jesus Christ, who walked this earth and calls us by name: Amen.
Bishop Nick Baines, World Environment Day prayer
Below are some song and prayer suggestions to incorporate into regular services:
Hymns & Songs on the theme of Care for Creation
Prayer for Creation Care
A wide range of other resources are available from:
Green Christian under Faith
Worship in and with Creation - Outdoor Worship
Here are a range of resources that you may like to try out in your local park, churchyard, or if you are fortunate enough to be able to go for a walk in the countryside. However, you may be able to find joy and wonder from your armchair looking out the window, viewing nature photos or videos or in your garden.
All of nature is always worshiping Christ, its creator and redeemer. As humanity, we get to choose to join in!
Pray & Fast for the Climate
Pray & Fast for the Climate is a movement of Christians praying and fasting on the first day of each month for climate justice. Starting in the UK but now worldwide, it is supported by the Church of England and many other denominations and organisations, particularly those who see the effect of climate change on mission partners around the world.
Find local events and groups as well as resources at: Pray & Fast for the Climate.
God’s relationship with creation runs through scripture. Below are some resources to explore:
- Some Biblical References and a Biblical Overview of Creation Care Jemima Parker
- Bible Study Resources - for small groups on the theme of caring for God's creation, the environment and responding to climatic change
- Theological explanations why Christians should engage with climate change:
Stewardship of Creation - a brief theology, January 2015 Jemima Parker
Climate Change & the Gospel - why churches need to treat climate change more urgently, January 2015 Bishop David Atkinson
God’s Word to the Church - a biblical basis for creation care (video) Revd Dave Bookless, A Rocha International
The World is our Host - a call to urgent action for climate justice, Good Friday 2015 17 Anglican Bishops from across the world
On Care for Our Common Home Pentecost, 2015, Pope Francis’ Encyclical
Care for Creation through the Church Year
Special services giving time to focus on worship with creation or care for God’s earth can help the whole congregation widen their experience of our faith. A Sunday near World Environment Day at the start of June, Creation Time in September, Harvest or Lent are all good times to focus on God's and our relationship with the earth.
The season of Lent gives us time to reflect on our relationship with the rest of God’s creation and to lament the damage that humanity has done. The Archbishop of Canterbury’s 2020 Lent Book Saying Yes to Life by Ruth Valerio, provides a reflective and challenging exploration into God’s relationship with His creation and our interconnectedness with nature.
Saying Yes to Life - Accompanying Resources
Saying Yes to Life Lent 2020 - Elements of Worship
Rogation takes place in the springtime, when there is a renewing of the earth. It follows Easter, the season or resurrection. Renewal and resurrection are therefore themes of this occasion whether in a rural or urban setting. Rogationtide is one of the ancient agricultural festivals, when processions take place to bless the crops and walk around the parish boundaries including asking (Latin ‘rogare’ – to ask) God’s blessings on the fields, the crops and the parish, that all for the ‘fruits of the field’ will flourish in the coming months.
Rogation Procession and Litany
Environment Sunday - June
Environment Sunday is celebrated on the Sunday nearest World Environment Day (5th June). It is an opportunity to pick up a variety of environmental themes, invite a guest speaker from either a Christian environmental organisation or a local politician or business person to talk about how your church can bless the local community in caring for the local environment. Some churches like to make this a “walk to church” Sunday.
The World Environment Day theme for 2020 is Time for Nature and this has been woven into these worship materials prepared by Christine Jack.
2020 Environment Sunday The Web of Life Bidiversity as God's Gift - Sermon Intercession Suggestion
Greening our Worship Eucharistic Service pro forma
2020 Environment Sunday The Web of Life Bidiversity as God's Gift - Eucharist
Creationtide: 1st Sept - 4th October
What is Creationtide? Creationtide is a season running between the World Day of Prayer on 1st September and St Francis’ Day on 4th October. Churches and congregations are called to pay special attention to the responsibility of humanity for the earth and for all that lives upon it. It’s start and end dates reflect that it is an ecumenical season, a shared idea between Eastern and Western Christianity.
Creationtide is driven not only by the complex environmental crisis creation faces, it also draws on much deeper roots in scripture and in older Christian traditions of the relationship between God, humanity and the created order. The timing of Creationtide means it is an excellent way of rooting traditional harvest festivals in wider issues and in firm theological ground.It is season in the church calendar like Advent or Lent, with a focus on celebrating Christ’s creation, remembering our dependence on God’s gift of the natural world, praying for the restoration of creation and taking action to bring this about.
Resources for your Creationtide Services
Weekly Sermon tip/reflection at Greening the Lectionary - written locally by Rev Ruth Newton
Resources for other services from the Church of England Creationtide website here
Daily actions and reflections here
An example of a six-week service programme from one parish in the Diocese here
Many people can describe transcendent moments in nature where they feel deeply connected to something bigger than themselves and Forest Church is a way to explore that connection within community
Forest Church is a fresh expression of church drawing on much older traditions when sacred places and practices were outside – but it is also drawing on contemporary research that highlights the benefits of spending time with nature in wild places. Forest Church isn't just normal church happening outside; rather it attempts to participate with creation.
Find out more about Forest Church including local groups.
Forest Church Development in West Yorkshire & the Dales - a paper by Andy Ryland, Karin Shaw & Jemima Parker