Church of England releases prayer to mark moon landing anniversary


The Church of England is marking the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing with the publication of a special prayer, as events take place around the world to celebrate the event.

The prayer, which is being shared on social media, speaks of man’s drive to “explore the mysteries of creation” and the need to cherish our world.

Churches and cathedrals across England are marking the anniversary with special events.

At Lichfield Cathedral, One Small Step, a 36 metre artwork replica of the lunar surface opens on Saturday morning – the anniversary of the landing - giving visitors the chance to ‘walk on the moon’ until the end of September.

Also on Saturday, Birmingham Cathedral is hosting two showings of ‘Interstellar’, an immersive sound and light show celebrating the moon landing.

The Bishop of Kingston, Richard Cheetham, who is a Co-Director of Equipping Christian Leadership in an Age of Science, a project to promote greater understanding between science and faith, encouraged churches to use the anniversary of the moon landing as an opportunity for prayer and reflection.

“After decades of space travel, including the iconic moon landing 50 years ago, we are more aware than ever of the vastness and complexity of the cosmos,” he said.

“Living, as we do, in a scientific age it is vital that our understanding and practice of Christian faith celebrates and engages deeply with the huge potential which science brings to our understanding of the universe, and ensures it is used wisely.

“The Equipping Christian leadership in an Age of Science project has sought to help the church to do that in many ways.

“This moon landing 50th anniversary gives another helpful way of engaging in a reflective and prayerful manner. I hope it is widely used in our churches.”

The Dean of Lichfield, the Very Revd Adrian Dorber said: “The first moon landing by human beings was an extraordinary feat; it summed up humanity’s spirit of adventure and exploration.

“Space exploration enabled us to see the beauty and fragility of our planet and it opened us all to the immensity of space, the awesomeness of the universe and encourages us still today to think about the origins of everything and whether life and time has a purpose and a point.

“Science and Religion have interesting things to say to one another: in this summer’s programme here at Lichfield Cathedral, we want to help people discover that sense of awe and wonder in the universe, to pray and contemplate and to marvel again at the sheer ingenuity that got astronauts on the moon, to create a bit of visual background to this special anniversary.”

A prayer on the anniversary of the first Moon landing

O God,
who made the universe and all that is in it,
we thank you for the skills and talents
that enable us to explore the mysteries of creation.
Give us the will to cherish all that you have made,
and to use the riches of our own world
for the good of all,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.