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Light a candle . . . then dine, this Lent

29 January 2016


TIRED of giving up chocolate for Lent? Or unwilling to take on a worthy task? A different kind of initiative for Lent is being promoted this year — asking people to agree to having a romantic, candlelit dinner instead.

The candlelit supper is one of 40 suggestions being offered to Christians as part of a Lent “carbon fast” being promoted by the Anglican Communion Environmental Network.

The romantic challenge crops up on 26 February, when participants are encouraged to “have dinner by candlelight, talk, play games and enjoy”. And the next day, people are asked to have a fast from electronic devices, and spend time with other people instead.

The carbon fast seeks to “reduce the actions which damage God’s creation”, the network says. Other challenges include having a meat-free Monday and planting a tree.

At Christ the King, Battyeford, in West Yorkshire, 40 members of the congregation are going on retreat for Lent — so that each day, the parish will have someone engaged in reflection and meditation.

Each person will choose a different place for the reflection, and there will be no “reporting back or flip charts at the end”, a participant, Bill Jones, said. The idea for the retreat came from one of the regular “Eat, learn and pray” evenings held in the parish.

“We think retreats may vary in length from as little as half an hour to a full day, and we look forward to seeing what happens,” he said.

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