Stephen Spillane (churchwarden of St Anne’s Church) writes:
St Anne’s Shandon has marked the Season of Creation for the last number of years, and this year was no different. The Season of Creation is the annual Christian celebration of prayer and action for our common home. This year, the season started on the 1st of September, the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, and ended on the 4th of October, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of ecology beloved by many Christian denominations. The theme for the Season of Creation 2021 was ‘Restoring Our Common Home’. During this time we have been asked to join together to celebrate creation and protect our common home through prayer, reflection and action.
During the five Sundays that make up the Season of Creation, with the help of visiting Clergy and Lay Readers, we included a special prayer in our worship each Sunday and also included material on our service sheets each week about the Season of Creation. On the Eve of the Feast of St Francis, and the last Sunday in the Season of Creation we were delighted to welcome Fr. Patrick Younge the Guardian of the Franciscan Community in Cork City to visit us and to preach on the theme ‘Restoring Our Common Home’.
Fr. Patrick spoke on the topic of our Common Home, about St Francis and how the Creator and His Creation is very much at the heart of Franciscan Spirituality. He also spoke about how, given the current conversations around a new ‘Thanksgiving holiday’, would a day to mark the ‘Care of Creation’ not be more appropriate, given the challenges that face us with regard to the Climate Crisis.
We were delighted to once again welcome Fr. John O’Donoghue and members from the Climate Justice groups in the North Cathedral, Blackpool, The Glen, Ballyvolane, and Sunday’s Well who joined us in worship on the day and we look forward to continuing to work with them in caring for our common home. We are very thankful to Rev. Alan Marley who took the service and made it such a special occasion and Adam Nuzum, our organist, who played with great verve.
St Anne’s has been hosting the Climate Justice Candle since early March 2020 as we received the candle just prior to the first lockdown and it got ‘stranded’ in Shandon! We were indeed very glad to have the candle ‘Shining a Light on Climate Justice’ during the service. We are hoping, with restrictions being lifted very soon, to send the candle on its way to a new home!