ABOUT 1000 churches and 40,000 people have signed up to a Lent
campaign, 40acts, in its fifth year.
The campaign, by the charity Stewardship, encourages people to
undertake a generous act each day for 40 days. Last year, more than
1.8 million "acts of generosity" were recorded, from "chocolate
mobbing" on public transport, when people bought entire carriages
and buses full of passengers a treat, to buying presents for
strangers from their online wedding list.
The 40acts blog will include reflections from the Chief Scout,
Bear Grylls; Canon Ann Easter, a Chaplain to the Queen; and the rap
artist Guvna B, among others
Stewardship's head of content, Debbie Wright, said that "40acts
began as a simple idea that asked, 'What if Lent . . . was a
preparation for a lifetime of big-heartedness?'"
Another initiative, which started in Oxford diocese, encourages
people to imitate the foot-washing of Maundy Thursday by washing
other people's laundry, cars, and dogs during Lent.
The Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell, has
launched the campaign, #washday15, by washing a lifeboat in his
He said: "On the night before he died, Jesus washed his
disciples' feet. Ever since then, it's been the vocation of the
Church to respond to the needs of the world in loving service. That
loving service can express itself in all kinds of ways. So, for
instance, there are homelessness charities up and down our country
and sometimes they just do simple things like wash someone's
"But think of the big difference such a small act of service
makes. That person's clothes are washed and cleaned; that makes it
easier for that person to get a job. That person gets a job, and
their whole life is transformed."
Six dioceses in the south-west are holding a Lent Carbon Fast,
and other initiatives include a Pray for London campaign from the
London City Mission, and a Lent Reflections app from Church House
The Church Times will once again appeal for donations
to its Train-A-Priest Fund.