Diocesan Day of Prayer in Preparation for COP26

Thursday 28th October 2021

Bishop John is inviting people across the diocese to dedicate this Sunday as a special day of prayer to mark the opening of the COP26 climate change conference.

To help you integrate the Diocesan Day of Prayer into your usual Sunday Masses and learn more about COP26, we have created the following resources:

Diocesan Day of Prayer: Solemnity of All Saints Liturgy Resource

COP26: A Whistlestop Guide for Parishes

COP26: School Resource Pack 

COP26 Prayers and resources from the Bishops Conference of England and Wales

As world leaders gather in Glasgow, parishes across the diocese will be observing a Diocesan Day of Prayer to pray for the success of the summit and the future of our planet.

Coinciding with the Solemnity of All Saints, this day of reflection reminds us of our call as Christians to care for creation and our brothers and sisters around the world, in fulfilment of God’s vision set out in Genesis; a world in which all humanity and creation live in harmony and holiness.

On the day we celebrate the communion of saints both known and unknown, we celebrate the idea of holiness itself and how men and women throughout the ages lived and worked to preserve this harmony and holiness through their everyday lives.

This is also an opportunity to reassess our own journey to the sainthood we are all called to, and question whether our choices, actions, and attitudes are leading us to build the harmonious, holy balance described in Genesis, or whether we are adding to the destruction.

In his latest Pastoral Letter, Bishop John said: “Care for the environment, for creation in all its complexity and abundance, is deeply rooted in our Christian Faith. We are the guardians of creation and responsible for its well-being.

“That aspect of our faith is something that we have probably ignored or taken for granted, unaware of the actual damage that we are doing during this industrial age where we have developed a mistaken notion of progress and unthinkingly exploited our resources and the plant and animal life of our world, and each other.”

Pope Francis also takes the opportunity in the lead up to COP26 to speak to the BBC, inviting world leaders and each one of us to “rethink the future of the world.”

He said: “Each of us – whoever and wherever we may be – can play our own part in changing our collective response to the unprecedented threat of climate change and the degradation of our common home.”

You can listen to Pope Francis’ COP26 message from BBC 4’s Thought for the Day on the audio file below:


Earlier this month, Pope Francis met with other religious leaders from across the world to issue a joint appeal to politicians to use the opportunity of this summit to make concrete plans to prevent the world from falling into an “unprecedented ecological crisis”.

Echoing this call, Bishop John asks us to use this Sunday’s Diocesan Day of Prayer to pray for the success of the summit and for those tasked with making the decisions on which our planet and people around the world depend.

Reminding us of Pope Francis’ challenge to “think and act globally”, Bishop John asks us to pray for our political leaders, and for substantial international change to combat the environmental crisis.

He said: “While we must concern ourselves with our own achievable changes in our personal lifestyle, we must make determined efforts in prayer that those gathering at the COP26 meeting may understand the urgency of making those radical decisions which are required to secure a healthy environment for future generations.”

In response to Bishop John’s call, we hope that parishes across the diocese join together on the eve of this historic summit in holding special Masses to pray for a successful conference, and for world leaders; that the Holy Spirit will guide them to listen to the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.

We take this opportunity also to pray for the people of the diocese; that we may look to the example of the saints to embrace holiness in our lives, to restore the lost balance of harmony, to renew the relationship between humanity and creation, to build a new Eden.

To help you integrate the Diocesan Day of Prayer into Sunday Masses for the Solemnity of All Saints, we have produced a special liturgy resource complete with homily ideas, prayers of intercession, hymn and music suggestions, and Bishop John’s diocesan prayer for COP26:

For anyone wishing to learn more about COP26 itself, we have created a helpful guide for parishes, as well as a separate one for schools to help younger members of our diocese.

During the summit, we will also be sharing diary updates from Bishop John – who will be attending the conference – on our website, as well sharing reactions, comments, and ideas on how to live more sustainably on our Laudato Si’ Centre Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages.

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