Starving consumers and struggling farmers need prayers, says bishop
The Bishop of Wakefield is seeking prayers for people along the entire food production chain, from the farmer struggling to make ends meet, to the consumers who do not have enough to eat.
The Right Reverend Stephen Platten said governments, companies and individuals needed to work together to address the plight of the millions of people going to bed each night hungry despite the vast amount of food waste in wealthier nations.
His comments follow the launch of the Enough Food For Everyone If campaign, which is demanding urgent action to tackle global hunger during 2013.
The Church of England is one of the hundred organisations that have united for the national campaign.
While financial hardship is causing people to go without food, those at the production side of the chain also need prayers, he said.
The bishop raised concern about farmers in the UK who are facing cuts in their income of up to 50 per cent due to weather damage, according to latest estimates from the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
"The world produces enough food for everyone, yet nearly a billion people are starving," he said.
"If we all work together we can make dramatic progress towards ending global hunger – 'if'. But we must not forget those who produce that food.
"The UK, in recent months, has seen dreadful weather that has ruined crops and disrupted harvests. The end result, according to DEFRA, is that many farmers face a cut in income of up to a half. Such crop failures can happen anywhere, so, while we pray for an end to global hunger, we should pray for those who produce the food, too."
Prayers that can be used:
O Most merciful Father, who of thy gracious goodness hast heard the devout prayers of thy Church, and turned our dearth and scarcity into cheapness and plenty: We give thee humble thanks for this thy special bounty; beseeching thee to continue thy loving-kindness unto us, that our land may yield us her fruits of increase, to thy glory and our comfort; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Almighty God, Lord of heaven and earth: we ask you to pour your blessing upon this land and to give us fruitful seasons, that we, constantly receiving your gifts, may evermore give thanks to you through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.