Background

Creationtide is a concept introduced by the late Ecumenical Patriarch, Demetrios I, 1989. Since then, September 1 (chosen because it is first day of the Orthodox ecclesiastical year) has been adopted as the start of Creationtide. This is the season, running to St Francis day on October 4, when churches and congregations are called to pay special attention to the responsibility of humanity for the Earth and for all that lives upon it. Its start and end dates reflect that it is a shared idea between Western and Eastern Christianity.

Churches Together in Britain and Ireland adopted the concept in 2008. In 2016, Pope Francis declared 1 September an annual World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creationtide.

While its adoption was in part driven by the complex environmental crises the human race faces, Creationtide draws on much deeper roots in Scripture and in older Christian traditions of the relationship between God, humanity and the created order.

The timing of Creationtide means it is an excellent way of rooting traditional harvest festivals in wider issues and firm theological ground.

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