Generous worshippers challenged to act out in love
Parishioners in the Diocese of Portsmouth are not only being challenged to raise funds this Lent, but change their lifestyles to help change the world.
In addition to donating money to the Bishop of Portsmouth's 2013 Lent Appeal, parishioners will be asked via the web and social media to perform a simple action each day that will show God's love to others.
Funds raised by the appeal will be split between projects supporting homeless people in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, and those affected by climate change in Uganda as part of the Church of England's Climate Justice Fund.
The Climate Justice Fund works in partnership with Tearfund to help Anglican churches around the world equip the poorest communities to respond to the challenges of climate change.
In Uganda, climate change is visible in higher temperatures and torrential rain. Traditional crops are no longer suitable and more than a quarter of the population are not able to access enough food.
The funds are enabling communities to learn news of farming and grow high-yielding crops better suited to the changing environment.
Closer to home, the Lent Appeal will go towards the running of a homeless hostel, a substance misuse hostel, an advice centre and supported lodgings.
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Bishop Christopher Foster said: "The annual Lent Appeal has been a fantastic way of helping those in need over many years. Churchgoers in this diocese have been incredibly generous, donating many thousands of pounds on top of their giving to the Church and to other charities.
"The season of Lent is also a time for Christians to reassess their priorities, giving up those things that may not be helpful, and taking on new responsibilities or lifestyle choices.
"We hope to provide some suggestions on small but significant changes individuals and churches can make as part of our '40 Days of Justice' campaign during Lent."
The bishop is hoping to surpass the success of last year's appeal which raised nearly £19,000.
He said: "I hope that with creative new ideas and imaginative engagement, as well as the tried and trusted ways of fundraising, we can meet or beat last year's generosity and make a real difference this Lent."