Celebrating the beauty of the Earth
16 July 2021
After having to postpone from 2020 due to the pandemic, Hethel Church were finally able to hold their weekend event celebrating the beauty of the Earth.
Peter Nicholls, Churchwarden at All Saints Church in Hethel tells us more:
“What a weekend! A capacity crowd (30) got up at 3.45am to see the sunrise. The clouds got in the way, but we enjoyed crystal-clear photos taken last year, and senior Franciscan Brother Sam sang a metrical version of Canticle of the Creatures which, he said, he’d never done at sunrise before. Moving (and slightly bizarre at 4.45am in a Norfolk lane). We then wandered private farm tracks enjoying and naming birdsong.
“Brother Sam delighted: on walks; in a formal talk; preaching; having lunch with a booked group, and serving drinks to pizza-and-beautiful-music-goers on Saturday evening. The message? This is God’s Earth and He loves all of creation. Salvation is not just about us; creation care is for God’s sake. It is for the sake of our neighbours who are overheating or flooding or drying up and it will be for our own benefit, too. Our primary driver should be that God cares as much for Brother Ant and all of life as he cares for us. We were urged to ‘See Differently’ – the title of Br. Sam and others’ book about Franciscans and creation. This was embodied in two prayer walks, appreciating nature through each of the five senses in turn and giving thanks to God.
“On Sunday afternoon Dr Anne Edwards led another capacity crowd through Hethel’s enviro-rich churchyard – at its peak for wildflowers – and beyond, spotting plants, grasses, trees, and insects of interest. Tea and cake, of course, followed, like all the catering both sustainable and beautiful. Br. Sam closed the event with a beautiful “Short Service for a Summer’s Afternoon”.
“Funds were raised for the Society of Saint Francis, A Rocha (overseer of the Eco Church scheme) and Hethel Church. Were people made more aware of the Christian’s responsibility to oppose environmental degradation? We pray so and received positive comments suggesting that the event ‘moved the dial’ a bit.”