UK environmental project
involving Christians & Neopagans
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:
Among the supporters are Prince Philip, the Prince of Wales, and John
Gummer, the UK Environment Secretary.
Among the detractors are some Christian critics, who are concerned about
Christians and Neopagans working together:
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."
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."