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Prayer Guide

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July 2024 downloads:       Small print Doc      Small Pdf      Large print Doc      Large Pdf

Yorkshire Dales

“…May they never lead the nation wrongly through love of power, desire to please, or unworthy ideals but laying aside all private interests and prejudices keep in mind their responsibility to seek to improve the condition of all mankind.”


UK parliamentary Speaker’s chaplain’s daily prayer.

Thursday 27th June

An ambitious plan to rewild 2,000 southern white rhino into secure protected areas in Africa over the next 10 years has officially begun, with 40 of these majestic beasts on their way to a new home at the Munywana Conservancy in Zululand, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, writes Andy Corbley. It’s the first relocation of a continent-wide effort organized by African Parks called ‘Rhino Rewild’, and follows the recent acquisition of 2,000 southern white rhino that had been privately owned by a multi-millionaire who dreamed of keeping them in a preserve for the purpose of harvesting their horns to flood the illegal rhino horn trade and crash the price to disincentivize poaching… Millionaire breeder John Hume of South Africa was unable to continue financing his venture, when, after years of litigation, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) remained adamant that they would not grant him an exception for the sale of rhino horn—banned as it has been since 1974, and so facing bankruptcy, Hume put all the animals up for auction in April. Hume’s 2,000 rhino were approximately 15% of the remaining wild population of southern white rhino.

Friday 28th June

Three of the UK’s largest conservation charities are calling on companies to put nature at the heart of all business decisions. Businesses have a critical role to play in tackling the nature and climate crisis, but only three in every 100 companies monitor nature and biodiversity risks. To address this, WWF, the RSPB and the National Trust have [in May] launched a new online guide designed to give workers at all businesses the confidence to take steps to make nature part of everyday decision making, from the factory floor to the boardroom. Nature’s Workforce, the first resource of its kind designed to help employees call for nature-positive change at work, has been created as part of the charities’ Save Our Wild Isles partnership.

Saturday 29th June

Developing countries are being short-changed of money to prepare for wilder weather and rising seas, according to critics, who say numbers are being miscounted or artificially inflated by donors, writes Md. Tahmid Zami. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has “hugely overstated” the amount of climate adaptation finance it provided to vulnerable countries, according to a report by charity Oxfam [last] month. But ADB stood by its reported figures, saying Oxfam had used a different methodology to reach its results. Critical reports have also said irrelevant international investments are sometimes being labelled as climate finance in order to boost figures, while too much is being provided as loans instead of grants.

Sunday 30th June

Everlasting God
whose Spirit broods everlastingly over the lands and the waters,
and endows them with form and colour:
give us, we pray, the mind and heart
to rejoice in the majesty of creation.
Teach us to be responsible stewards of this world
and to seek the common good,
that through your blessing all may flourish,
and creation sing your praise
in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Rt Revd Robert Atwell
Bishop of Exeter and Chair of the Liturgical Commission

Monday 1st July

Join with many other Christians from around the world with the monthly Pray and Fast for the Climate Movement on the first of each month. Prayer points for July will be on their website.

Merciful God, we believe that you uphold and sustain all that you have made, while also lovingly giving us the freedom to live in relationship with the rest of creation. We ask your forgiveness for the ways we have abused that freedom, through what we have done and what we have left undone. We bring our lament and our longing for a renewed earth to you now:

(Christian Climate Action’s prayer for climate grief).

Tuesday 2nd July

The manifestos of the two main political parties at the 2024 general election provide a glimpse into the possible worlds that voters will choose to inherit next [week], cites Brendan Montague. Labour’s plans for climate and nature have scored four times higher than the Conservatives’, according to a new joint analysis of political party manifestos carried out by Greenpeace UK and Friends of the Earth. The environmental groups warn that if elected the party must draw up much bolder plans to ensure the UK’s domestic and global targets are met, and so that it can fully reap the massive economic rewards offered by the green transition. The analysis evaluated the four manifestos against 40 policy recommendations published last autumn by the organisations… The Green Party scored highest with a near perfect score of 39 out of 40 followed by the Liberal Democrats with 32, the Labour Party with 21 and the Conservatives bottom with five.

Wednesday 3rd July

Tonight at 7pm sees the next talk in our series of food related workshops: ORGANIC – agroecology, regenerative farming, organic farming: what’s the difference? Richard Kipling, Head of Research at the Sustainable Food Trust, will lead our workshop on organic farming. Richard joined the Sustainable Food Trust in 2021 to oversee research activities, including within the Global Farm Metric and across a range of other projects and focus areas. Prior to joining the SFT, Richard was a Lecturer in Sustainable Systems at Aberystwyth University. He has expertise in high nature value and climate friendly livestock farming. Before gaining his PhD in pollination ecology in 2011, he held positions as a countryside ranger at a number of nationally important UK nature reserves. Away from work, Richard is a keen walker, sea swimmer and writer. Free, but register for the zoom link

Thursday 4th July

Today sees the General Election in the UK.

We pray for those who are standing for election, for their safety, and for their willingness to listen and to speak.

We pray for truthfulness and kindness to prevail as the issues are debated.

We pray that each of us will be inspired to use our voice and our vote for your goodness and glory. Inspire us, God, to Love, to Pray and to Vote.


(adapted from a Methodist prayer written as the election was called)

Friday 5th July

As the results and the fall-out from the UK’s general election unfolds, pray for peace, kindness and good grace from both the winners and losers.

Pray for the government of the new parliament, especially those with portfolios that affect most closely our global environment, including:

Each day in parliament the Speaker’s Chaplain reads this prayer: “Lord, the God of righteousness and truth, grant to our King and his government, to Members of Parliament and all in positions of responsibility, the guidance of your Spirit. May they never lead the nation wrongly through love of power, desire to please, or unworthy ideals but laying aside all private interests and prejudices keep in mind their responsibility to seek to improve the condition of all mankind; so may your kingdom come and your name be hallowed.


Saturday 6th July

Climate diplomats [finished] two weeks of intense negotiations in the German city of Bonn [in mid-June], discussing global efforts to cut emissions and protect people from climate hazards. Article authors Josh Gabbatiss and Molly Lempriere continue: Developed and developing countries were locked in a bitter struggle over who should provide the trillions of dollars required to tackle climate change across the global south. This issue cast a shadow over wider proceedings. Discussions of everything from assessing climate adaptation, to carrying forward the outcomes from last year’s “stocktake” in Dubai, were held up by financial disputes. Nations are expected to reach an agreement at COP29 in Baku, Azerbaijan, on a new, global climate-finance goal that will come into play after 2025.

Sunday 7th July

How long, O Lord,

Will sea levels rise?!

How high O Lord,

Will sea levels rise?

Before you step in and save and rescue?

How long, O Lord,!

Will temperatures rise?

How much drought? How many famines?

Before you step in to save and rescue?

How long, O Lord,

‘Til extinctions cease?

How many will be lost? How many species?

Before you step in to save and rescue?

Taken from prayer 12 by Jon Swales How long O Lord

Monday 8th July

Green economy groups have expressed disappointment in the agreement reached by G7 nations in Italy [in June], which largely reiterates climate and environmental commitments already made through past international forums, writes Sarah George. The tone, observers have stated, has been markedly different this year with an election on the horizon for G7 members France, the UK and the US – plus the recent EU elections front-of-mind. Nonetheless, the leaders sought to put up a united front on the global stage. Russia is mentioned 61 times in the agreed communique, with world leaders agreeing to “build on the comprehensive package of sanctions and economic measures already in place” which penalize Russia. A pledge to unlock $50bn for Ukraine, from interests earned on immobilized Russian sovereign assets, was also made… Among these areas, the climate, biodiversity and pollution crises are mentioned. The communique reiterates all G7 members’ support for the UN-convened biodiversity treaty ratified in 2022 and also takes note of ongoing efforts to develop the world’s first plastic pollution treaty.

Tuesday 9th July

On alert over forecasts for a hectic storm season and with FEMA [Federal Emergency Management Agency in the US] relief funds running low, communities [in the US] are trying to fill the gaps, writes David Sherfinski… Texas resident Kevin McKinney had to borrow money from his wife’s retirement fund to cover some of the cost of repairing damage wrought by the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in 2017. “I had three feet (0.9 metres) of water in my home for eight days,” McKinney told Context, saying 500 fellow residents had “lost everything” due to flooding in the storm’s wake. Nearly seven years on, and with forecasters projecting an especially fierce hurricane season, McKinney fears another big storm could strike his neighbourhood in the city of Richwood. Several deadly storms have already hit Texas this year… The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has forecast up to 25 named storms and an 85% chance of more hurricane activity than normal. “This year we’re exceptionally concerned about the Texas coast, Florida Panhandle, South Florida, and the Carolinas,” said Alex DaSilva, lead hurricane forecaster for the weather forecasting company AccuWeather.

Wednesday 10th July

Tonight we have another Green Christian workshop, this time on Peace, Love and Climate Justice. This will be a training workshop with Melanie Nazareth to help you help people in your church to engage with our work. If we are to be peacemakers in the face of growing global conflicts, we must be justice makers. We have created a workshop that you can use to explore what this means for each of us in shaping our responses to the global climate and environmental crisis. Focusing on the Great Commandments in Mark 12:30-3, it asks questions that connect peace, love and justice. This will be a training session to introduce the workshop, for you to experience it, hear about ways in which you can deliver it yourself, and ask your questions. Free, but you will need to register for the link.

Thursday 11th July

[Two] European cities have taken up the idea of utilizing the space over its cemeteries for generating solar power, a project it calls Requiem in Power, or RIP, writes Andy Corbley. At the heart of Valencia, three cemeteries at Grau, Campanar, and Benimàmet will be outfitted with 7,000 panels to create the largest urban solar farm in Spain. GNN reported in March that a town on the River Loire in France had initiated a community-led project to raise solar panel canopies to stop excess rainwater from flooding the sea-level town cemetery. The town, Saint-Joachim, had to raise the money for the project through voluntary taxation as well as seek permission from residents, which wasn’t a problem for former Valencia city climate councillor Alejandro Ramon who explained that the city owns the cemetery land and can do as they like. But just to make sure they weren’t walking over anyone’s graves, they sought permission from the Catholic Diocese, who supported the idea. “We suffer droughts and extreme heat. It’s necessary to speed up the transition, but sometimes in cities it’s difficult to find large free spaces to install renewable energy,” said Ramon.

Friday 12th July

People all over the world are worried about climate change, Joe Lo reports, and want their governments to do more to cut planet-heating emissions and protect them from extreme weather, a UN survey of more than 75,000 people from 77 countries has found. Cassie Flynn, climate lead for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), said the results were “undeniable evidence that people everywhere support bold climate action”… here are … five takeaways from the data:

  1. Climate change is not just a rich-world concern
  2. Saudis back their government’s climate action the most
  3. Russians are most opposed to fast energy transition
  4. People in rich, colder countries feel safer from extreme weather
  5. Even citizens of rich countries want them to do more to help poorer ones

Saturday 13th July

Brazil produces more soybean than any other nation, and the city of Sorriso, Mato Grosso, leads this production, which drove the municipal per capita GDP from 27,000 reais to 132,000 reais ($15,800 to more than $25,000) in the last 10 years. Writer Luiz Felipe Silva continues: The highway running through town helps illustrate the contrast between gated communities of luxury homes along one side and precarious homes where agricultural workers and family farmers live amid vulnerable social situations on the other. Family farmers struggle to keep producing amid land disputes and clouds of pesticides that destroy their crops, ruin honey production and raise cancer rates — which are twice as high in Sorriso than the state average. Lives are also lost to organized crime in Sorriso, the municipality with the sixth-highest murder rate in the nation, and also to agribusiness itself, with dozens dead after becoming engulfed in soybean silos.

Sunday 14th July

How long, O Lord, will unrestrained capitalism

Rampage and pillage your good world?

How long, O Lord, before you step in and bring it to its knees?

Must we wait ‘til mass starvation?

Must we wait ‘til mass migration?

Must we wait ‘til societal collapse?

When will Justice rise up and sweep away oppression?

When will Love triumph over selfish individualism?

When will Healing spring forth for the nations?

How long, O Lord, how long?

Taken from prayer 12 by Jon Swales How long O Lord

Monday 15th July

Worsening hurricanes, heat waves, wildfires and droughts around the world pose particularly high risks for children, whose bodies and minds are still developing, writes Kiley Price. A recent report showed that many countries are not taking heed of children’s health risks in their climate adaptation plans, even as research about these threats keeps mounting. Nearly every child around the world now faces at least one climate shock—whether wildfires, cyclones or storms—each year, according to a UNICEF report. These extreme weather events can be debilitating for young people, who often rely entirely on their caregivers to protect them and can struggle to understand the destruction unfolding around them. And that’s just during the disaster. In the aftermath, it’s common for children to experience a broad array of psychological issues, including depression and mood swings, research shows.

Tuesday 16th July

The environmental impacts of the war in Gaza are unprecedented, according to a preliminary assessment published [in June] by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), exposing the community to rapidly growing soil, water and air pollution and risks of irreversible damage to its natural ecosystems. UNEP reiterates the call for an immediate ceasefire to protect lives and eventually help mitigate the conflict’s environmental impacts. The preliminary assessment finds include:

Wednesday 17th July

Two-thirds of micro-sized, small and medium businesses (MSMEs) would welcome the introduction of stronger policies to tackle plastic pollution, despite a potential increase in costs in the short-term, writes Sarah George. This is according to a global survey of more than 130 small businesses across the world, carried out by WWF and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. The businesses were asked whether they are likely to support the introduction of a new global treaty to tackle plastic pollution. Convened by the UN, the treaty will cover all stages of the plastic life-cycle, from production to waste management. It is hoped that the treaty will be finalised later this year, though recent meetings to discuss the mechanics of its implementation have proven less productive than hoped.

Thursday 18th July

Desertification affects around 45 per cent of Africa’s land, with 55 per cent of this area considered at “high” or “very high” risk of further degradation. That is a huge threat to food security and sustainable development on a continent whose population is expected to grow by nearly 1 billion by 2050…Regreening Africa, an initiative co-led by the Center for International Forestry Research and World Agroforestry (CIFOR-ICRAF), is countering that risk by restoring landscapes across eight countries. The initiative emphasises agroforestry—the integration of trees into landscapes and farming systems. The approach involves working closely with communities to build on their knowledge, understand their needs and identify the best restoration options for the local context. At the same time, working across multiple countries helps to identify solutions that can be adapted and scaled across locations facing similar challenges.

Friday 19th July

The UK’s energy bills were £22bn higher over the past decade than they would have been if Conservative governments had not cut “green crap” climate policies, writs Simon Evans. In 2013, then-prime minister David Cameron was infamously reported to have asked colleagues to “get rid of the green crap”, referring to climate policies supporting better home insulation. His government later scrapped a “zero-carbon homes” (ZCH) standard for new-build homes, ended support for solar power and blocked the expansion of onshore wind. The number of homes getting insulated each year is now 98% below 2012 levels, while the growth of onshore wind and solar remains far below previous peaks. Carbon Brief’s new analysis updates figures published in January 2022, showing that the “green crap” rollbacks left UK billpayers more exposed to record gas prices during the energy crisis. The £22bn added to energy bills since 2015 as a result of the rollbacks includes £9bn due to not having built more cheap onshore wind, £5bn due to poorly insulated homes, £5bn due to low solar deployment and another £3bn because new homes were less efficient than the ZCH standard.

Saturday 20th July

WWF commends the recent findings of the International Energy Agency (IEA) report indicating that global investment in clean energy technology and infrastructure is set to hit US$2 trillion this year, twice the amount going into fossil fuels. Reacting to the report, Dean Cooper, WWF Global Energy Lead, said: “The IEA’s report is an encouraging indication that energy investments are heading in the right direction. It is a testament to the growing recognition of the economic, environmental, and social benefits of renewable energy. But, this is only just the beginning. World leaders now need to accelerate and amplify their funds to renewable energy and energy efficiency to meet the targets set by the Paris Agreement and to limit global warming to 1.5°C. US$1 trillion is still a lot of money being spent on fossil fuels when there should be no further investment in new coal, oil, or gas production. A rapid and just transition to 100% renewable energy is essential for safeguarding our planet and ensuring a sustainable future for all.”

Sunday 21st July

And yet, O Lord, we hear a cry.

We hear a cry from the forests. From the oceans and the Arctic.

We hear a cry from the vulnerable and the endlings, from the hungry and the refugee.

The cry began as a whisper, falling silently on a sleepy church.

The cry turned into an echo, reverberating through the walls of empty churches.

The cry gains strength, joining a myriad of angels.

Come Lord Jesus!

Let they kingdom come.

Come Lord Jesus!

Drive back the darkness.

Taken from prayer 12 by Jon Swales How long O Lord

Monday 22nd July

Under the theme “All for Health, Health for All,” this year’s World Health Assembly, held in Geneva [at the start of June], built on the momentum of COP28 by passing a resolution that recognizes the impact of climate change on health. The Climate Change and Health Resolution – co-sponsored by the United Arab Emirates – was successfully adopted at the 77th meeting of the Assembly. The resolution, which refers to the COP28 UAE Declaration on Climate and Health, marks a significant milestone as climate becomes a top priority within the World Health Organization’s (WHO) program for the first time. COP28 announced that 27 more countries have endorsed the COP28 UAE Declaration on Climate and Health since its adoption at COP28 in December 2023. These endorsements increase the total number of countries committed to addressing the pressing health impacts of climate change to 150.

Tuesday 23rd July

A picture is worth a thousand words, or so the old adage says. Now crop scientists have developed a technology that proves it: their AI-powered tool can accurately predict a crop’s future growth, health, and yields, based on just a single snapshot of the plant, writes Emma Bryce. This is more than just another AI gimmick, the University of Bonn researchers say: their new tool could help guide farmers on how to raise crops more sustainably without sacrificing yields—for instance, pinpointing places in the field where adding less fertilizer could result in the same productivity, or more… As a tool, the algorithm could make precision agriculture easier to implement on the field, helping to guide more sustainable practices in general.

Wednesday 24th July

The competitions at the Paris 2024 Olympic games officially start today. The vision of the organisers around sustainability is: organising better games with less and that leave a legacy:

Thursday 25th July

[In late June], Hawaii agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by 13 young people alleging the state had violated their constitutional rights with infrastructure that adds to greenhouse (GHG) emissions, exacerbating climate change, writes Cristen Hemingway Jaynes. In the settlement, the state agreed to decarbonize its transportation system by 2045. At a news conference, Governor of Hawaii Josh Green, a Democrat, called the settlement “groundbreaking,” reported Reuters. “We’re addressing the impacts of climate change today, and needless to say, this is a priority because we know now that climate change is here,” Green said, as Reuters reported. “It is not something that we’re considering in an abstract way in the future.”

Friday 26th July

A coalition of real economy leaders including decision-makers at Unilever, 2150 and Ikea are pushing world leaders to set more ambitious and detailed plans for accelerating decarbonisation, writes Sarah George. An open letter to all heads of state released [on the] 24th June emphasises the importance of national governments updating their plans for delivering their fair share of emissions reductions committed to under the Paris Agreement. The call to action … is being supported by dozens of chief executives, sustainability professionals, regional policymakers, investors, NGOs and climate scientists. Countries are meant to update their Paris Agreement delivery plans, known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), by February 2025 at the latest. It is hoped that some will prepare sooner, for the next UN-convened annual climate summit (COP29) in Baku this November. The open letter intends to give world leaders permission to be bold in this process. It calls for a ‘Mission 2025’, stating: “We – as representatives of the world’s largest business networks, cities, regions, philanthropies – are ready to embolden governments to set more ambitious plans and accelerate implementation.”

Saturday 27th July

[The] row over jobs at UK’s largest remaining steelworks in Port Talbot highlights [the] challenges of moving to a fossil fuel-free future, writes Beatrice Tridimas… One of the key drivers of this dispute between trade unions and India’s Tata Steel, which runs the steelworks, is the question of how best to future-proof jobs as fossil fuel-dependent industries move to decarbonise. “Every market you look at is going green, steel has got to get there as well,” said Jason Wyatt, who has worked as an electrical engineer for two decades at Tata Steel. Decarbonising steel production is key to achieving global net-zero emission targets – steel production accounts for about 8% of global carbon emissions and about 30% of emissions from industry, and the sector is the major consumer of coal. The switch to electric steelmaking in Port Talbot is expected to cut Britain’s carbon emissions by 1.5% as the coal-fired plant is the country’s biggest single carbon emitter. But the switch will also mean job losses, and unions are pushing for alternative strategies that facilitate decarbonisation while ensuring that jobs stay in the UK.

Sunday 28th July

I hear a reply from heaven, from the throne room of the great King.

I hear a reply from heaven, from the one whose hands were pierced.

I hear a reply from heaven, from the wild goose of love.

Awake O Church!

Let my world be blessed

Awake of Church!

Swing wide the doors

He speaks ‘You are my hands and feet, my covenantal kingdom community, you are called to be salt and light.

Execute justice, stand up for the rights of the oppressed. Afflict not the stranger’

Blessed are the peacemakers,

And the crucified and risen King says ‘Lo I am with you always.’, even to the end of the age


Taken from prayer 12 by Jon Swales How long O Lord

Monday 29th July

Global warming is rapidly transforming the European continent, write Robin van Dijk and Melanie Muro. Climate change is driving heatwaves and droughts that compromise food security in the European Union. Policy instruments need to support farmers in adopting sustainable practices that increase farm system resilience…Earlier this year, the European Environment Agency’s Climate Risk Assessment Report, noted that prolonged droughts and extreme heat in southern Europe pose a “critical risk” to crops and yields, requiring urgent action to safeguard food security. Indeed, the European Drought Observatory’s latest map of the Combined Drought Indicator shows that 19.6% of the EU plus the UK territory is facing a soil moisture deficit. Whilst the map indicates that Southern Europe is most affected, some regions in Central and Eastern Europe and Scandinavia are also facing soil moisture deficits.

Tuesday 30th July

Car manufacturers, energy companies and environmental NGOs have issued an urgent warning against revoking the EU’s 2035 de facto ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars ahead of the meeting of EU leaders [in late June], writes Johnathan Packroff. “The 2035 zero emission cars goal is Europe’s most straight-forward EV industrial strategy bringing vital investment to European companies,” the Platform for Electromobility, which counts members such as Renault Group, Uber, Volvo, Ford and Tesla, wrote in a joint statement… The coalition said it was “very concerned by recent statements calling on the incoming European Commission to reverse the already agreed on CO2 standards for cars and vans,” referring to the lawmakers within the centre-right EPP, who have declared their ambition to revoke the ban, and to instead allow for more ‘technological openness’. As the EPP came first in the election, and its lead candidate, Ursula von der Leyen, is expected to be reappointed by EU leaders for a second term as president of the European Commission, a revision of the 2035 target looks increasingly likely.

Wednesday 31st July

A new report [by Transparency International Brazil, titled “The Wildlife Laundromat,”] has found wildlife smugglers employ sophisticated methods to smuggle species from the Brazilian rainforest, including widespread fraud and corruption, writes Carla Ruas. In recent years, smugglers have been caught altering a wide range of documentation — from export licenses to microchips — to give their operations a veil of legality. There are multiple reports of bribery within traffic routes originating in Brazil, including of the public officials responsible for wildlife protection.


Text and links compiled by Emma King. Links accessed June 27th 2024. 


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