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Thursday, 20 June, 2002, 10:46 GMT 11:46 UK
England's call for 'Hand of God'
Church of England football prayer
The football prayer asks for God's help
A leading Church of England liturgist is hoping to ensure England's World Cup success against Brazil by writing a special prayer.

The Reverend Jeremy Fletcher, chaplain to the Bishop of Southwell in Nottinghamshire, was inspired to ask for heavenly help following the recent call in national newspapers to pray for Beckham's broken metatarsal to heal.

In his prayer, entitled A Prayer for the Quarter Final, Mr Fletcher asks God to "lift up his hand and confound the might of Ronaldo and Rivaldo".

Failing that, he asks God to award England a "dubiously offside goal" in the last minute of the game allowing them to go through to the final.

Mr Fletcher told the BBC's Breakfast programme: "Someone suggested as a result of Beckham's foot prayer that the Church of England should provide an official one as a spoof and that the church should put together some prayers for the England team in general.

"I had an idle moment so I thought I would give it a go.

"The more interesting question that was raised out of this is you have to ask whose side God is on.

"Lots of people seem to be thinking that God might be on our side."

The Bradford City supporter has also written a litany, or supplicatory prayer, to be chanted in the event of a penalty shoot-out.

The litany, which has been set to music and broadcast on BBC Radio Nottingham, begins: "O Seaman make speed to save us, O Martyn make haste to help us."

A PRAYER FOR THE QUARTER FINAL

Arise, O Lord, and let not Brazil prevail over us,

Put them in fear O Lord.

Rise up, O Lord, lift up your hand,

Confound the might of Ronaldo and Rivaldo

And put Ronaldinho to confusion.

O God, if nothing else, award us a dubiously offside goal in the last minute,

That the world may know that you are our God,

And through you we will triumph over our adversaries,

This time making it all the way to the final,

Even if it is on a Sunday and no one will go to church.

Amen


Click here to go to Nottingham
See also:

20 Jun 02 | England v Brazil
18 Jun 02 | Brazil
17 Jun 02 | England v Brazil
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