The Bishop of Wakefield, the Rt Rev Stephen Platten, has called on people to pray for the whole food production chain from struggling farmers, in the UK and elsewhere, to those that do not have enough to eat.
Backing the Enough Food For Everyone If campaign, the Bishop emphasised the call for governments, companies and individuals to work together to take the necessary steps to reduce the millions currently going hungry and the amount of food wasted.
At the other end of the food chain, he added, those who produce food also need prayers. Farmers in the UK, for example, are facing cuts in their income of up to 50 per cent due to weather damage, according to latest estimates from the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
"The world produces enough food for everyone, yet nearly a billion people are starving," said Bishop Stephen. "If we all work together we can make dramatic progress towards ending global hunger - IF. But we must not forget those who produce that food.
"The UK, in recent months, has seen dreadful weather that has ruined crops and disrupted harvests. The end result, according to DEFRA, is that many farmers face a cut in income of up to a half. Such crop failures can happen anywhere, so, while we pray for an end to global hunger, we should pray for those who produce the food, too."
Examples of suitable prayers
O Most merciful Father, who of thy gracious goodness hast heard the devout prayers of thy Church, and turned our dearth and scarcity into cheapness and plenty: We give thee humble thanks for this thy special bounty; beseeching thee to continue thy loving-kindness unto us, that our land may yield us her fruits of increase, to thy glory and our comfort; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Almighty God, Lord of heaven and earth: we ask you to pour your blessing upon this land and to give us fruitful seasons, that we, constantly receiving your gifts, may evermore give thanks to you through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The latest Farm Business Income estimates from DEFRA can be seen athttp://www.defra.gov.uk/statistics/files/defra-stats-foodfarm-farmmanage-fbs-publications-fbincomes-statsnotice-130131.pdf .
The Church of England is a member of ENOUGH FOOD FOR EVERYONE IF. This is a national campaign involving 100 organisations that have come together to make 2013 the year in which we make dramatic progress towards ending global hunger. For more about the campaign and its launch please visit the campaign website atwww.enoughfoodif.org
The Church of England will be using the UK Presidency of the G8 to focus on two key concerns: hunger and sexual violence in conflict. To learn more about the Church's work in both these areas please visit the following website: http://www.churchofengland.org/our-views/international-affairs/the-uk-g8.aspx