In 2018, St Bride’s choir launched their first ecological Lent campaign: Plastic Free Lent. They reported weekly to the congregation on their discoveries about the environmental harm plastic can cause, particularly single use plastics, and their attempts to find replacements for this most ubiquitous product.
The campaign drew wide attention and in its wake the choir were approached to help produce a song for the Season of Creation (1st September – 4th October) which has been commissioned by the Church of England’s Environment Working Group.
Composer Ian Stephens has set words by poet and priest Malcolm Guite in a number of arrangements suitable for choirs and singing groups of all ages, ranges and sizes. Thanks to Ian’s ingenunity and skill they can all be performed simultaneously and there’s even an arrangement for congregations.
We are delighted to announce thatA Song for the Season of Creation will have its premiere at St Bride’s Church on Rogation Sunday, 26th May, at the 5:30pm Choral Evensong and all are warmly invited to attend.
Rogation Tide is traditionally the time in which we ask for God’s blessing on the land and the food it will produce for us. It also reminds us of our dependence on and responsibility towards the environment.
The work will be performed in the presence of its composer and lyricist, members of the Church of England’s Environmental Working Group and representatives of faith-based environmental organisations.
After the service the six arrangements will be available as free downloads here, where you will also find recordings of the work and rehearsal audio files.
It is hoped that A Song for the Season of Creation will be performed in churches throughout the country, even in those where there is no choir, either as part of Season of Creation services or Harvest Festivals. Service and prayer materials are available at https://www.churchofengland.org/about/environment-and-climate-change/creationtide/creationtide-resources
The Rector of St Bride’s, Revd Canon Dr Alison Joyce, said:
“The choir of St Bride’s has done an amazing job in helping to raise our awareness of how we can all respond positively to the environmental challenges that we face – and their initiative has been the more effective because it has emerged from within the heart of our worshipping community. The idea of a specially commissioned Song for the Season of Creation is an inspired way of encouraging other choirs to spread the word, too.”
Rt Revd Bishop of Salisbury, Lead Bishop for the Environment said:
“We can see the urgency to care for God’s earth, our common home. Music and worship give form to our Christian lives. This is a song for God’s creation we can all sing this Season of Creation.”
Director of the Royal School of Church Music, Hugh Morris, said:
“Using music to celebrate the richness of God’s creation is something all churches can do, and this new Song for the Season of Creation offers an open, flexible way of resourcing and encouraging churches to lift up their voices in praise”.
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