Church of England news reports that:
The season of Lent – a period of penitence in preparation for Easter - has been given an extra twist this year with a multi-media campaign backed by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, Dr Rowan Williams and Dr John Sentamu.
Love Life Live Lent gives inspiration for simple things that people can do to spread a little generosity and happiness in their community, and particularly aims to bring Lent alive for people who might not go to church. In a bold move, the campaign is being delivered through two colourful booklets, an interactive website, and a text message service.
From today, mobile phone owners can text the word ‘Lent’ to 64343 to begin receiving daily suggestions for actions from Monday 19th February through to Easter Monday, at a price of 10 pence a day. Actions include:
Give up your place to someone in a traffic jam or a queue
Have a TV-free day and do something you have meant to do for ages
Take part in an environmental clean up
Watch the news and pray about what you see
Leave a £1 coin in the shopping trolley or where someone will find it.
The actions may seem small, but can add up to something bigger when lots of people get involved, say the Archbishops of Canterbury and York in their joint introduction: “It’s all too easy to feel we are powerless to make a difference. But the truth is, with God’s help we can change the world a little bit each day. Each of us can be the change we want to see in the world… Together we can build better and more generous communities. Together we can lighten the load on our planet. We show God’s love when we do these things,” they say.
Everyone can join in Love Life Live Lent by visiting www.livelent.net, which will feature each day’s actions, games, resources, and an opportunity to share experiences with other people who have tried out the suggestions through a forum area. A special area of the website, supported by a separate booklet with activities focused on school life, have been designed for under 15s to join in.
Love Life Live Lent started life in the Diocese of Birmingham in 2006, inspired by a local pilgrimage. The booklet was such a hit that the original print run for the booklets had to be increased repeatedly, and 70,000 copies of the booklets were distributed through churches, schools and community centres.
The Rt Revd David Urquhart, Bishop of Birmingham, believes the campaign shows a different side to Lent: “Doing something positive or generous can be as transforming as giving something up. It helps us to reflect on how we normally behave, and how we can make changes to our lifestyles that reflect God’s love more fully.”
Church leaders hope that ‘Living Lent’ this year could be the beginning of a journey of faith, and the campaign’s dedicated website offers a range of resources and links to help explore Christianity and the Bible.
Love Life Live Lent is available as a full-colour booklet for just £1 (ISBN 0978 07151 41113, childrens’ version 0978 07151 41144) or buy 10 for £8 (0978 07151 41120, childrens’ version 0978 07151 41151), or a value pack of 50 for £35 (0978 07151 41137, childrens’ version 0978 07151 41168) from Christian bookshops including Church House Bookshop, 31 Great Smith Street, London SW1P 3BN, tel. 020 7799 4064, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or on the web (mail order available)