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Baptismal Rite Breaks New Ground

Rt. Rev. Steven Craft.   ©Roger Harris/Wikimedia Commons
Rt. Rev. Steven Croft. ©Roger Harris/Wikimedia Commons

The Anglican (Church of England) Bishop of Oxford has added a new environmentally friendly vow to the church’s baptismal rite.

According to Anglican Mainstream, the Rt. Rev. Steven Croft added a sixth question to the liturgy that calls on the newly baptized to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the Earth, with the response being: With the help of God, I will.

Speaking on June 11, 2022, to the church’s Diocesan Synod, the bishop read the following scripture in support of his stance:

Psalms 24

The earth is the LORD’s and everything in it, The world and all those who live in it For he has founded it on the seas And established it on the rivers.

The bishop recalled his father’s gardening expertise and how it helped him to understand the role of human beings in caring for the natural world:

Part of our role is to tend creation; the first and recurring image of paradise in scripture is a beautiful garden. The word "paradise" itself is a Babylonian word meaning walled garden. A garden is not an entirely natural thing. It does not happen by itself.


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