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UK environmental project
involving Christians & Neopagans

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A five-year undertaking, called the Sacred Land Project, will "restore sites of spiritual significance, from standing stones to medieval abbeys" in the UK. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. George Carey, led a group of 8 religious leaders to launch the project on 1999-APR-23. They represented groups from the Baha'i Faith, Jainism, Neopaganism, and others. The group blessed an ancient healing spring at St. Mary's church in Wellesden, North London. 

Organizer Martin Palmer commented that the goals of the project are to "re-establish the spiritual and environmental significance" of sacred sites and "to keep alive the tradition of sacred space in a modern context."

The project has received mixed reviews:

bullet Among the supporters are Prince Philip, the Prince of Wales, and John Gummer, the UK Environment Secretary.
bullet Among the detractors are some Christian critics, who are concerned about Christians and Neopagans working together:
bullet The Rev Michael Cole, a Canon of Chelmsford Cathedral, has authored a book about New Age religions. He said that Dr Carey's involvement was dangerous. "Christians are concerned with conservation. That's why the Archbishop wants to be involved. But others want to take it further and worship Mother Earth rather than Father God. The Archbishop would be wiser not to be involved at all. How the public perceive what he does is crucial. This is the sort of situation which those of us at Church level are working to prevent."
bullet Rev Tony Higton, an rector from Essex commented: "I respect what the Archbishop is trying to do. But there is a danger that the public will see it as a blessing on religions in general or on paganism, which would be very damaging."

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Jonathan Petre, "Archbishop to bless 'pagan project' ," Electronic Telegraph, Issue 695. See:

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