'Calm down, calm down', C of E tells commuters

By Ecumenical News International
September 6, 2008

As holidays for many people end and the northern hemisphere winter approaches after a wet summer, Monday mornings can be difficult. To boost morale and ease the Monday blues, the Church of England offered early morning commuters on 1 September a prayer published in the freesheet morning newspaper read by some 1.5 million who travel by train and underground on their way to work throughout Britain - writes Martin Revis.

In northern England, the Anglican bishop of Bradford, the Rt Rev David James, turned out in person to hand out copies of the free newspaper, Metro, featuring the prayer contained in an advertisement paid for by the church.

It asks for God's help in dealing with everyday concerns of home and business life, including "love life issues, bills to pay, delicate egos at work to deal with and an overflowing inbox".

The initiative is in response to a poll commissioned by the Church of England of some 1200 randomly-selected people which found that as the new season begins in the workplace and at home, one third expressed the wish to make a change in their lifestyle as they anticipated an extra busy period at work, a prospect which one in eight people said they "dreaded".

The advertisement promotes "Back to Church Sunday" on 28 September, a campaign supported by the main Protestant denominations in Britain, which encourages church goers to invite friends and family, who used to attend services but no longer do, to try the experience again.

[With acknowledgements to ENI. Ecumenical News International is jointly sponsored by the World Council of Churches, the Lutheran World Federation, the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, and the Conference of European Churches.]

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