Reflection for the Month

From The Rectory . .



I am always looking for good ideas as to how to keep Lent. Most of you will be familiar with the idea of ‘giving something up for Lent’. The two most usual candidates being alcohol or chocolate, though coffee is also popular, and more recent innovations have included surfing the web, or shopping at supermarkets.

On Ash Wednesday I was intrigued by a headline on the BBC news web-site (I’ve not given up the web for Lent). It said ‘Church of England issues anti-plastic tips for Lent’ and went on to explain: The Church of England is urging Christians to give up single-use plastics during Lent, in a bid to cut the environmental damage it can cause. Worshippers have been offered tips to cut plastic use for each day up to Easter, such as choosing a fountain pen over a plastic ballpoint pen and buying music electronically rather than on CD. The Church linked it to a Christian calling to "care for God's creation”.’

Although I googled Church of England, plastic, lent, I couldn’t find any other information until I opened my Church Times (on the web, of course) on the following Friday morning. And there it was: ‘Church of England backs plastic-less Lent campaign to reduce environmental waste’. It’s actually the brain child of theologian and environmentalist Dr Ruth Valerio, who works with the charity Tearfund. The campaign asks us to reduce our use of plastic items during Lent, with a particular emphasis on single use, throw away items such as plastic coffee cups and water bottles. There’s a Face book page ‘Plastic-Less Lent 2018’ and a twitter feed #plasticlesslent which give tips and suggestions.

I was intrigued by the idea of using a bamboo toothbrush, though not quite sure where I’d get one, and challenged by how you could buy toothpaste without the plastic container. There are groups of people up and down the country, including St Bride’s choir who are encouraging each other throughout Lent to give this a go. This initiative adds to the growing list of individuals and the government who are concerned about the environmental damage done by the over use of plastics. You may remember that there’s a nursery chain in the West Country who have stopped using glitter as a small step towards reducing their use of plastic. Of course churches up and down the country have for many years done something similar in asking wedding parties to only use biodegradable confetti. Just sometimes the Church is ahead of the trend.

So if you’ve not yet taken up a Lent challenge, or if your chosen discipline just isn’t working out, you might like to check out Plastic-less Lent, and see what you can do to bless the environment, while keeping a Good Lent.


God bless your endeavours.                                                                              Rev Penny