Dr John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York has been attending parliament today to launch this year’s Love Life Live Lent alongside Stephen Timms MP, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Faith and Society. The impressive role played by volunteers throughout 2012 including during the Olympics and Paralympics has inspired the launch of the Love Life Live Lent – Be the Change! booklets which encourage people through simple daily activities to make small but revolutionary changes to the world around them during Lent 2013.
Although the daily challenges feature a Bible verse it looks like the sort of tool for advent that anyone who wants to do something constructive during Lent could follow and not just Christians. In fact the Archbishop of York will be sending a copy of Love Life Live Lent to all 649 MPs so they can consider using the booklet in their own constituencies.
Alongside Christmas and Easter, Lent is recognised by many people in this country who are outside of the Church. Giving up something for Lent is still a recognised part of this nation’s conscience. It’s therefore good to see the Church of England taking this opportunity to encourage people to do some simple but constructive acts through a positive engagement with this aspect of the Church’s calendar. It’s also very good to see MPs getting in on the act too. The Love Life Live Lent booklets have reportedly been used by over 400,000 people since they were launched in 2006. Here is some further information from the Church of England’s press release:
Love Life Live Lent – Be the Change!, written by theologian Dr Paula Gooder and her husband the Revd Peter Babington, leads people through simple daily activities to make small but revolutionary changes to the world around them during Lent 2013.
People will encourage one another to keep going with their daily challenges throughout Lent by sharing their own Love Life Live Lentexperiences using the hashtag #livelent; and there will be regular Tweets of encouragement from @LiveLent.
The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, said: “In 2012 the nation really came together during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics. We saw people putting love and care for their neighbours into action, and there was a real mood of celebration. When we all pull together, and do our bit, anything is possible. TheLove Life Live Lent books are a great source of encouragement for us to be the change we want to see in our communities. We may feel our own contribution is small, but even a small drop of water can turn a waterwheel – in 2013 let’s aim for better.”
The Rt Hon Stephen Timms MP said: “As chair, I am delighted that the All Party Parliamentary Group on Faith and Society can host this launch for Love Life Live Lent within Parliament. It is a particular joy to be able to welcome the Archbishop of York to commend this resource. This is a visible sign of active links between the Church and Parliament. In 2012, the meetings of the All Party Group explored the impressive contribution of faith-based organisations to their local communities. Faith in its social action has much to contribute to wider society. I look forward to hearing this Lent of acts of kindness on the part of adults and children which can encourage us all.”
Canon Duncan Green, the LOCOG Multi Faith Chaplaincy Coordinator, is also attending the launch, and said: “During the Olympic and Paralympic Games people from over 200 nations lived and worked together. Chaplains from different faiths worked alongside each other caring for everyone involved in the Games. Seventy thousand volunteer Gamesmakers gave their time to make the Games a success. The church throughout the UK put on community events, with over 500,000 people attending, putting the games in a local context and establishing and building new relationships with local people. What happened during 2012 shows what can be achieved when we work and serve together.”
Hannah Walker of FaithAction, the secretariat for the All Party Parliamentary Group on Faith and Society, said: “The small, daily acts of generosity laid out in the Love Life Live Lent campaign offer an opportunity for children and adults to step out and serve the people around them. Creating more connected and caring communities is a core aspect of what faith can bring to society and these daily actions are a good place to start.”
The 2012 Games inspired hundreds of churches to host community events all over the country – with resources for organising community celebrations viewed over 35,000 times on the Church of England website.
Two brand new booklets, an Adults’ Version and a Kids’ Version, are now available. Published by Church House Publishing, Love Life Live Lent – Be the Change! will be used in parishes and schools around the country as a way of observing the season of Lent – which begins on Ash Wednesday (13th February 2013) and runs until the day before Easter Sunday. It is available individually or in packs (of 1, 10, 25 for the adults’ version ISBN 978 0 7151 4311 7, and 1, 10 and 50 for the kids’ version ISBN 978 0 7151 4 3148), from www.chpublishing.co.uk.