Last year I lived off £5 for a week, living below the poverty line to raise money for Oxfam and highlight the food poverty many in the UK and overseas are living in. This year I shall be taking on a more personal challenge and trying to participate in the Christian observance Lent. During Lent, many Christians commit to fasting or giving up certain types of luxuries as a form of penitence, and I will be giving up chocolate, cake, dessert (but not dessert style yoghurts, they don’t count),biscuits, and crisps. At the end of Shrove Tuesday, or Pancake Day, Lent usually begins and continues until Easter Sunday, 40 days after. As a person of Irish descent, God has given me and people special dispensation whereby we may break Lent on St Patricks Day (17 March). Hooray for chocolate and Guinness cake!
I was raised Christian and was dragged to church each Sunday. When I was old enough to make my own choices I preferred not to follow a set religion and opted for a more spiritual ‘be good to each other’ type of ethos, whilst continuing to wonder if there is anyone out there and what they might think of us all. But just because I’m not actively Christian does not mean that the spirit of Lent should be forgotten. Giving up something that you enjoy can teach yourself many personal lessons as well as empathy for others not as fortunate as yourself.
Here is day 1 and counting!