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Bishop pens prayers for England in World Cup

Rt Rev Nick Baines
Image caption Bishop Baines said he was "moved" to write two prayers for England

The Bishop of Croydon, the Rt Rev Nick Baines, has asked for divine intervention after the England team's "remarkably aimless" game with Algeria.

In his blog Bishop Baines said he was "moved" to pen two prayers after the nil-nil draw, which he said was a "seemingly dispassionate performance".

His first "simple and honest" prayer says "Oh God..."

In the second he appeals: "Please help England rediscover their, legs, eyes and their hunger."

'Rediscover their legs'

England failed to score against Algeria on Friday night. Their next match is with Slovenia on Wednesday, which the team has to win to stay in the World Cup.

The complete second prayer says: "God, who played the cosmos into being, please help England rediscover their legs, their eyes and their hunger: that they might run more clearly, pass more nearly and enjoy the game more dearly. Amen."

The bishop, who works in the Diocese of Southwark, said that ahead of the games the team is over-rated and over-hyped and when they fail to deliver there is "a collective intemperate bloodletting against team and manager".

There are no plans to say the new prayers in a service.

Bishop Baines penned a prayer for all World Cup teams last month rather than a special plea for England, saying that "God is not partisan".

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