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Christian, dost thou text them?

by Rachel Harden

GIVE UP your place in a queue, have a TV-free day, or help in an environmental clean-up. These are the kind of suggestions for self-denial and good works that a daily Church of England text-messaging service is to provide this Lent.

By texting the word “Lent” to 64343, churchgoers will be able to sign up to receive these and other daily practical suggestions by phone.

The “Love Life, Live Lent” campaign will cost 10p a day, and users will be charged in weekly amounts. There is an accompanying booklet*. Those not inspired by the service will be able to de-register at any time by texting “Stop” to the same number.

An introduction to the campaign by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York states: “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. . .”

The website will have a forum for sharing experiences, and provide resources and games for each day’s topic. There is a separate area on the website for under-15s.

The campaign started last year in Birmingham diocese, where more than 70,000 booklets were distributed. The Bishop of Birmingham, the Rt Revd David Urquhart, said: “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.”

The Thirst for Life campaign will run for a second time this Lent. It promotes giving up alcohol for the 40 days of Lent.

*available from Church House Bookshop: phone 020 7799 4064; www. livelent.net; www.thirstforlife.org

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