Woolwich & Districts
of Wynn's Common and Plumstead Common
A Liturgy for the Integrity of Creation 14 May 2000
was born in 1953 in a prefab on Winn's
Common, and I lived there for the first five years of my
life. In those post-war days of rationing, gardens on the Common
were full of vegetables, chickens and even the odd goat. When
the prefabs were demolished and the land returned to grass,
we moved to the new estate across the main road, but returned
to the Common to play.
we grew up, my siblings and I explored every inch of that expanse.
It was from a tree on the Common, overlooking King's
Highway, that I fell at the age of 11, and was in St
Nicholas' Hospital for a week. My brother and I had been
throwing acorns at the roofs of passing buses. The Common continued
to figure in my life in quite a big way. I walked across Plumstead
Common each weekday on my way to school and twice on Sundays
to come to church. As a teenager I roamed endlessly, pondering
the meaning of life, and as a Cub Scout leader I played rounders
on summer evenings. On a warm Sunday evening after Evensong
there was sometimes cricket with the Youth Club followed by
a drink at the Prince Albert, overflowing onto the Common as
still happens today.
back in this way, I can see that growing up in Plumstead,
with its open spaces and parks, helped to make me the person
that I am today. I see this process being repeated in my children
as they grow up in Plumstead. We are shaped by our environment.
Common Environment Group is working to help create somewhere
where it is good to live and good to grow up. This is especially
true of its attention to the detail of things which can easily
be dismissed as unimportant, reporting broken street lights
and abandoned cars, litter control, clearing up broken glass,
and fighting the endless battle against graffiti. Its members
also work continuously to enhance both the beauty and the natural
abundance of our open spaces and the wildlife they support.
we have, we hold in trust for others, whether we're talking
about Plumstead Common or the resources of the earth. Our open
spaces are enormously important. They help to civilise us. We
all benefit from them. Children who are cooped up in flats with
no gardens need the space. The Common provides a focal point
for community events like the Make Merry. We are all stewards
of the environment which shapes us and which will shape our
global terms, as a human community, how we use the earth's resources
represents a choice either for life or death. In local terms,
the way we care for our environment can improve the quality
of life for everyone in our community, both now and in the future.
Both in the world and in Plumstead the Christian choice must
always be for life, life in all its fullness."
the earth is Yours
with all its beauty and goodness
its rich and overflowing provision
But we have claimed the earth for our own
plundered its beauty for profit
taken its resources for ourselves
of creation, forgive us
may we no longer abuse Your loving generosity
but care gently and with justice for the earth
which we hold in trust for those who will follow.
Common Environment Group for their kind donation of this