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Church of England to join Pope in worldwide call to pray for the environment

Bishop Nicholas Holtam, Church of England bishop for the environment. (Diocese of Salisbury)

The Church of England’s lead bishop for the environment The Rt Rev Nicholas Holtam has urged his parishioners to join in the World Day of Creation.

Pope Francis established the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation for Catholics, to be celebrated in September annually, but said he hoped it could bring Christians together to tackle a common goal.

The Day of Prayer is along the same theme as the Holy Father’s newest encyclical, Laudato Si, and aims to get Christians to think about their role as stewards of creation.

Pope Francis and the Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew, as well as members of the global Anglican Church and Christians around the world, plan to fast and pray for the care of creation to mark the day.

“It will do us all good to stop, fast, think and pray about the need to care for God’s good but fragile creation,” Bishop Holtam said.

“We live at a time when human activity has caused a dramatic reduction in the earth’s biodiversity and when people are causing climate change through our profligate use of fossil fuels.

“A consensus has emerged about the need to move to a low carbon economy.

“Whatever the scientific, economic and political difficulties at root this is a spiritual problem.

“Prayer helps clarify what we want and strengthens our determination for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

This is the latest commitment by the Church of England to transition to a low carbon future.

The church joins other Christian denominations in prayer including the Orthodox Church, which has celebrated a Day of Prayer for the Environment on September 1st since 1989.

Anglican Churches across the world have already pledged their support for the call for climate justice.

The Archbishop of Cape Town and Primate of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, the Most Rev Dr Thabo Makgoba has said his diocese will also be responding to the pope’s call.