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Give us this day our new daily prayer.

Church leaders in the Midlands were split yesterday over proposals to change the wording of The Lord's Prayer.

The General Synod of the Church of England meets this week to discuss the changes.

But the debate is likely to reveal again the divisions between those who favour keeping the traditional wording and those in favour of the Alternative Service Book.

Concern has been voiced about changing the traditional prayer which is as familiar to many non-church goers as worshippers.

One of the most controversial is the proposal to change "lead us not into temptation" to "save us from the time of trial".

A spokesman for the Bishop of Birmingham, the Rt Rev Mark Santer, said: "The version including the words 'time of trial' would harmonise the Church of England with other English-speaking churches who are all using that version and therefore he favours itbut of course the traditional version is always available." The Assistant Bishop of Worcester, the Rt Rev Ronald Bowlby, said the new version, if it was adopted, would be the third version of the prayer to be adopted.

The present one, which begins "Our Father who art in Heaven", replaced the ancient text which uses the words "which art".

"'Lead us not into temptation' sounds as if we think that God is likely to push us into a situation where we would be tempted to do wrong and of course that isn't what is meant by it at all," he said.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Feb 9, 1998
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