The Archbishop of Cape Town, the Most Revd Thabo Makgoba, the chair of the Anglican Communion Environment Network (ACEN), is encouraging the 85 million Anglicans in 38 Provinces to use new ACEN prayers and resources from South Africa and England in church services on or around Environment Sunday (2nd June) and World Environment Day (5th June). They include a children’s prayer (written by 10-year-old Jackie from South Africa) and are available here.
This year’s World Environment Day theme – Think.Eat.Save – encourages people worldwide to reduce their ‘foodprint’. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), every year 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted. At the same time, one in every seven people in the world go to bed hungry and more than 20,000 children under the age of five die daily from hunger-related causes.
The Most Revd Thabo Makgoba said: “In the story of the feeding of the five thousand we read ‘everyone ate, and had enough.’ (Mark 6:42) This is a beautiful image of sharing, with everyone’s needs being met, and nobody going hungry. There is enough food in the world for our need, there is not enough for our greed. This World Environment Day I encourage Anglicans everywhere to think about what they eat, to eat food which is healthy and sustainable and to stop wasting food. Let us share today our daily bread.”
The annual World Environment Day, launched in 1973, is run by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). It is commemorated in spring in the Northern Hemisphere and fall in the Southern Hemisphere.
The Sunday nearest to World Environment Day is celebrated in the Church as Environment Sunday, although it can be observed on a date that suits individual churches.
A soundbite featuring the Most Revd Thabo Makgoba may be downloaded for use on radio and online at
World Environment Day is hosted by a different country every year – this year Mongolia – and has a different theme. It is commemorated with an international exposition in the week of 5th June. For more details, go to: http://www.unep.org/wed.
This liturgical resource for World Environment Day has been adapted for use by the Church of England. For a full ACEN resource pack for ‘Think, Eat, Save’, see
For more details of the Church of England’s national environmental campaign Shrinking the Footprint go to:http://www.churchcare.co.uk/shrinking-the-footprint