Claypole Benefice
From the Rector
These are the words of a prayer attributed to St Francis of Assissi patron saint of animals and ecology. His devotion to God was demonstrated through his love for all of God's creation. He cared for the poor and sick, he preached sermons to animals, and praised all creatures as brothers and sisters under God. 

Whether we have a faith or not I think we would all agree that caring for the earth and all of creation is a responsibility for us all.

The theme chosen for Earth day back in April this year was End Plastic Pollution. Some of you will have seen some of the evidence and consequences of this pollution on the News or other television programmes and, like me, may have resolved to do all you can to reduce the amount of plastic that you use. I haven’t bought a plastic carrier bag for a very long time and no longer accept free ones.

In the time of St Francis there was no such thing as plastic but he did all he could to care for the earth and all of creation. He tried to teach others to do the same and he gave up the wealth he was to inherit to follow Jesus Christ and take on a life poverty, as a monk.

You may not be called to live a life of rigour as a monk or nun, but perhaps you could make his prayer your own: Lord make me an instrument of your peace 
Lord make me an instrument of your peace
Where there is hatred let me sow love
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
And where there is sadness, joy.
O divine master grant that I may
not so much seek to be consoled as to console
to be understood as to understand
To be loved as to love
For it is in giving that we receive
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it's in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen