Every year, from 1 September - the first day of the Orthodox Church year - to 4 October - the feast of Saint Francis of Assisi in the Catholic tradition - churches are called to become involved in the 'Time for Creation' for the protection of God's creation and the promotion of sustainable lifestyles. This year, churches are encouraged to focus on the theme of biodiversity, 2010 being the UN Year of Biodiversity, and on Africa.
Materials for Time for Creation are available in different languages at the website of the World Council of Churches and the European Christian Environmental Network (ECEN) www.ecen.org . Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI) also offer sermon notes, prayers, and other materials for churches to observe 'Creation flourishing - A time for celebration and care' at: www.ctbi.org.uk/creationtime.
Church bells across the country will ring in tune with the United Nations next month to mark crucial international talks on biodiversity. As the bells toll at the UN headquarters in both New York and Nairobi, bell ringers from small parish churches to large cathedrals and minsters are being encouraged to ring on 22 September.