A Carbon Fast for Lent

Received in e-mail from the Anglican Communion Environmental Network

Thursday, January 31, 2013


Lent is a time of repentance and fasting, of turning away from all that is counter to God’s will and purposes for his world and all who live in it. This year, Anglicans and all local faith communities are invited to focus on Lenten ‘acts of love and sacrifice’ (of which our Ash Wednesday speaks) on our contribution to climate change, and those most impacted by it.

To each of the “forty days” a specific action is prescribed which educates the participant and provides a significant action affecting creation positively. Originally developed by Tearfund, the programme has been re-configured by Rachel Mash of the Province of Southern Africa and is distributed through the ACEN and ACSA.

The fast builds on traditional Lenten practices where we give something up, such as chocolate or alcohol. The Carbon Fast asks participants to focus on giving up (or making changes to your lifestyle), to reduce your ‘carbon footprint’ – your total impact of environmentally damaging greenhouse gas emissions, usually measured in carbon dioxide equivalent, hence the name.

A traditional Lenten observance is ‘Fish on Fridays’. Why not also have a ‘Meat-free Monday’ – or some other day, if on Mondays you usually eat Sunday’s leftovers? Did you know that ‘a kilogram of steak could be responsible for as many greenhouse gases as driving a car for three hours while leaving all the lights on at home’ (D Fanelli, New Scientist, 2007, 2613:15)?

Participants can record experiences at a blog www.carbonfast2013.wordpress.com which will be available from Ash Wednesday through to Easter Sunday.

For more information contact:
Rachel Mash at mashr@ctdiocese.org.za.
Ken Gray rector@colwoodanglican.ca

Resource materials for the fast, suitable for posting in your parish or sharing with the congregation, are posted here.

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