It is high time to add a 'Creation Day' into the church year. That was the message last week from 120 representatives of churches throughout Europe who felt that the state of the planet demands it.
The assembly called on church leaders to 'take more effort to introduce a Time of Creation into the church's calendar'. Judith Allinson, a member of the Creation Time working group, said "Christian teaching and the creeds say that God created heaven and earth, but we have left this unmarked in the Christian year."
Thirteen delegates from the UK and Ireland (NOTE 3) had travelled to Basel, Switzerland, for the fifth assembly of the European Christian Environmental Network (ECEN).
The idea of a Creation Day has been gaining ground since 2001, and the date has now been identified as 1st September. A period of 'Creationtide' then follows until early October, providing opportunity to learn about humankind's responsibility to care for what God has made. This period includes the feast of St Francis of Assisi and harvest time.
The threats posed by climate change took centre-stage during the five-day conference. A message will be sent to the summit of G8 leaders in Gleneagles in July, urging them to take decisive action for rapid reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Christians for their part were urged to curtail air travel, and invited to observe a 'car-fast' in Lent 2006.
Notes to editors
- Further details, contact Eleanor Todd, 0131 240 2250
- Message from ECEN to every church and congregation in Europe - see 4. below
- Participants from UK and Ireland:
- Judith Allinson, Paul Bodenham - Christian Ecology Link
- Donald Bruce - Society Religion and Technology Project (Church of Scotland)
- Eleanor Todd - Eco-congregation Scotland
- David Coaker - United Reformed Church
- Ruth Conway, Martyn Goss, Martin Conway - Church of England
- Robin Morrison - Church in Wales
- James Harper, Joe Furphy - Presbyterian Church of Ireland
- Catherine Brennan - St Louis Ecology Group, Ireland
- Stella Mew - Church of Ireland Helen Shiel - Methodist Church in Ireland
- Michael Northcott - Theologian