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Creation Time: 1st September – 4th October 2017

Resources available at:http://columbans.co.uk/creation-time/

In Lancaster we are having a Celebrating Creation service at St Monica's Blackool FY4 4FA at 7pm on Wednesday 20th September 2017. Material and inputs available in Environment and Celebrating Creation Resources folder named 20th September.

The National Justice and Peace Network briefing paper on fracking available here to download


From The Ribble to Eden - Celebrating Creation in the Diocese of Lancaster

We are all aware of modern concerns about the environment, climate change, and food and water security. Even though we might support the need to live sustainable lives in solidarity with people elsewhere in the world and protecting the needs of future generations, it is difficult in practice. In the last twelve months the natural world too has seen its share of major disasters, challenging our understanding of suffering. Yet how often do we think about the special understanding we could as Christians bring to these issues?

“Contemplating the beauty of Creation” said Pope Benedict recently “inspires us to recognize the love of the Creator, that love which moves the sun and the other stars” (Papal message for the Celebration of the World Day of Peace, 1st January 2010, quoting from Dante). Western Christians tend to think in terms of stewardship, managing and organizing our care of Creation. From the Eastern Church come concepts of being priests of Creation whose role is to sanctify nature and who are open to the creative process. From both perspectives emerge the interconnectedness of nature and humanity. From September 2011 for 12 months the Faith & Justice Commission will focus throughout the diocese on celebrating the richness of Creation.

The year was launched on September 12th in Morecambe with a prayerful short walk at sunset in the company of Bishop Campbell, has included events such as bird watching walks, listening to the dawn chorus, gathering food to cook and eat together, mountain hikes with outdoor Masses, and lots more for all age groups at venues throughout the diocese. Also there were events to raise our awareness of and reflection on our treatment of nature, and gain an understanding of the wisdom embodied in tradition.  People from all over the diocese took part in these events and their own events parish/deanery walk, picnic & hiking group.

Celebrating Creation Leaflet

In the lastest event in October  Fr Sean McDonagh SSC gave a talk in Tabor Preston on Sustainable Christianity: is there a distictive call to how Christians should respond to the environmental & financial crisis?  Fr Sean is a Columban missionary priest who worked in the Philippines from 69 to 91, where he saw at first hand the devastation which tropical deforestation wreaks on people and their environment. Because of speaking and writing about the desecration of God’s creation, he was invited to help draft the Philippines’ Bishops pastoral letter, What is happening to Our Beautiful Land? –the first pastoral letter from any episcopal conference exclusively on the environment. He has worked to inform & campaign on GMO’s.  

Reel Issues –film and discussion nights


Other events during the year have included

Monday 12th September 2011 Opening Event Bishop Michael  led a walk in Morecambe with prayer stations, for a view on the evening click and for a copy of the prayer

September 2011Celebrating Together and Living Lightly a Churches Together in Cumbria event  Cockermouth. Speaker was Mary Colwell, Bishops’ Conference Advisor on environmental issues.

October Bird watching at the RSPB Ribble Discovery Centre Fairhaven Lake, Ansdell -a wonderful day( http://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves/guide/r/ribblediscoverycentre/index.aspx ). This date chosen to try and get the best time for seeing the birds en route south for the winter.

October 2011Conference & study day Celebrating Creation with Maria Elana Arana from CAFOD & Kathy Galloway Iona Community & Christian Aid Scotland, with workshops from Fr Robert Opala, Rachael McCarthy & Jon Lord and members of St Bede's School Community Lytham

November 2011 At Faith & Justice Commission Annual Assembly speaker:Daniel Hale spoke about the Progressio campaign for sustainable water to protect livelihoods; "Waterproofing Development?"  to find out more:  http://www.progressio.org.uk/waterproof

February 2012 Youth Conference with the theme of creation in Our Lady's Catholic High School, Preston . To view images of the day at http://www.prestonimpactgroup.co.uk/photo-gallery/progress-2012/

Film nights & discussion nights using  An Inconvenient Truth is a documentary film about global climate change and the family film Wall-E about attitude to our environment and waste

Fr Chris Boles at the Lenten Vigil introduced us to the writings of John Muir who was involved in the establishment of the first national park in Yosemite Valley California, and Sister Margaret with her talk Beasts and Saints introduced us to John Bradburne who gave lepers hope, food, love and dignity and I know I will never think of bees in the same way again! Both worth reading.

Activities have included a dawn chorus walk, several mountain walks, a family weekend. We had a lovely day -sorry very early morning on the last Sunday in April listening to the Dawn Chorus, windy but dry for us and we saw kingfishers as a treat. 12 of us made the early start plus the leader and we finished with Mass said by Fr Hugh in St Mary and St James' Scorton.

Afterwards Fr Michael Tully told us about the warm and friendly church which had recently celebrated 150years. He also showed us the seventeen century garments which they still use at special times of the year and the two seventeenth century chalices, one of which was used at our Mass.

Fr Michael took great pleasure telling us that when re-decorating the church he had the painting of each of the angels at the top of the arches sponsored, and those sponsoring an angel had to choose the colour for their robe, and in his words, “the best one is in range”, his home town of Blackpool's football colours. We then had tea and breakfast in the local cafe. A good Sunday morning.

In May walk, Fr Rob Opala led a walk and we began with Mass in Ambleside; Fr Rob, a Carmelite priest from Tabor in Preston runs a regular Praying in the Mountains group.

We have also had the privilege to be involved in a Family Weekend at Castlerigg celebrating creation. The sun shone all weekend and Rebecca Whitehead gave us a great input on the night sky and the stars. Everyone entertain us in an impressive talent show.

In June walk we saw how quickly the gently running stream becomes a powerful, dangerous and amazing river. Some very wet and happy walkers were made very welcome in Our Lady of the Wayside, Grasmere During the year we have become aware of how many wonderful churches there are in the diocese.

In July walk a group joint Fr Philip Connor and the youth team on a really enjoyable walk to St John in the Vale, taking in the Stone Circle, and finishing off with a cream tea at Castlerigg.

In September we were able to help with the service to Celebrate Creation and Re-Creation at Brockhole Nature Reserve in Preston as part of Preston Guild Week.