Churches risk pounds 7m on poem

CHURCHES IN Britain admitted yesterday that they are to take a big risk in proposing that revellers at New Year's Eve 1999 break off from "Auld Lang Syne" to recite a millennium poem.

At a cost of pounds 7m every home in the country is being sent a "gift" consisting of a candle with a holder and the text of a "Millennium Resolution", which has caused controversy as it makes no reference to God or Jesus.

The interdenominational group, Churches Together In England, which is leading the campaign, is hoping that at 11.55pm on 31 December next year Britons will put down their drinks, light their candles, recite the resolution and reflect on the spiritual significance of a new millennium.

The Rt Rev Gavin Reid, the Bishop of Maidstone and chairman of the Archbishop's Millennium Advisory Group, said yesterday that the organisers were aware of the potential pitfalls in asking people to turn their attention to higher things at what is billed as the biggest bash of the century.

"Our hope is that Christians and non-Christians alike will want to take a few minutes out," he said. "We recognise that it will be in many ways a very, very noisy ... night, and to get people to pause and be quiet for a few minutes is very high-risk."

The organisers were also encouraged by the results of a Gallup poll, commissioned by the churches during the development of the "Millennium Moment Concept", which showed that more than half the population - 58 per cent - supported the candle and silence idea.

The text of the Millennium Resolution, by the Rev Peter Trow, a United Reformed church minister, reads: "Let there be respect for the Earth, peace for its people, love in our lives, delight in the good, forgiveness for past wrongs, and from now on a new start."

Bishop Reid defended the omission of God and Jesus Christ, saying that when Jesus spoke to the crowds he never actually mentioned God. "We are hyper-conscious of the fact that there will be all sorts of contexts where a prayer is not appropriate," he said.

But some senior church figures are unhappy that God has been left out of the churches' main millennium campaign. John Broadhurst, the Bishop of Fulham, said it was "a betrayal of the very meaning of the millennium".

t Children's charities are urging everyone in Britain to hand over the money they earn from their final hour's work of this millennium to help children. BBC Children In Need, Comic Relief and five leading children's charities back the idea, called the Children's Promise.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
Lois Pryce... Life Without a Postcode. Lois lives on a boat with her husband.. Registering to vote in the election has prooved to be very difficult without a fixed residential post code. (David Sandison)
newsHow living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Sport
Steven Fletcher scores the second goal for Scotland
cricketBut they have to bounce back to beat Gibraltar in Euro 2016 qualifier
News
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing