CHURCHES: Three ideas for an alternative Lent

This year's Littlehampton Sleepout takes place this Saturday (February 25). See below for more details about the event
This year's Littlehampton Sleepout takes place this Saturday (February 25). See below for more details about the event

This year, the Christian season of Lent kicks off on Wednesday, March 1, and will see people up and down the country giving up a variety of vices.

But Lent can be about so much more than trying (and usually failing) to give up something trivial – in fact, it’s an ideal time to make some easy but significant changes, the benefits of which could last far beyond six weeks. Here are our top tips for planning an alternative Lent in 2017:

• Give up talking – no, we’re not suggesting you take a vow of silence, but let’s be honest, most of us could do with talking a little less. This Lent, why not really focus on listening when you’re having a conversation? Selflessness has the power not only to affect how the other person feels, but how we feel about ourselves too.

• 40 days of good deeds – in the same vein as the first tip, why not challenge yourself to do one good deed for someone else every day throughout Lent? Something as simple as paying your morning bus driver a compliment or making your busy boss a cup of tea. For guidance, try – you’ll receive a daily email with tips on how to ‘give back, do good and live generously’.

• Charge yourself for treats – going cold turkey at Lent is a challenge and the most of us slip once or twice, or several times, so why not use this inevitability in your favour? Every time you eat/do something you’re supposed to have given up, simply put 50p into a jar. Given up chocolate? Add 50p each time you eat some. Sofa junkie? Collect 50p for every hour you spend lounging around. Just think how much change you could accumulate in six weeks. At the end of Lent, you could add it to your rainy day savings, spend it on something you want, or even donate it to charity.

Christians Against Poverty (CAP) is a charity determined to reduce hardship in the UK, with the help of local churches. It does this through debt counselling centres, money education programmes, life skills courses, job clubs and release groups. CAP’s services are available to everyone regardless of age, gender, faith or background. Find out more at or call 0800 328 0006.

Carol Boreham

Littlehampton Debt Centre manager


Worthing Churches Homeless Projects (WHCP) is delighted to announce the return of its annual Littlehampton Sleepout on Saturday (February 25) at River Beach Primary School. Participants are asked to get sponsored to spend a night outside and are advised to bring a sleeping bag, cardboard or blankets for warmth whilst spending the night in the school’s playground. There will be a barbecue and access to toilets all night. Caitlin Mulholland said: “This event is a great chance to get people really thinking about rough sleeping and the harsh conditions some of our clients have been faced with. It allows the community to understand what WCHP is trying to eradicate, and what it feels like to be without the luxury and security of our homes.” If you would like to join WHCP for a truly unforgettable experience then get in touch either by email: or phone 01903 680740 ext 272. If you would prefer to just donate to the great cause, head over to to support the fundraiser.


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