Church of England's first ever green Lent campaign launches

Ruth Valerio and the Archbishop of Canterbury tie personal climate commitments to a pledge tree.(Photo: Church of England/Steve Fanstone)

The Church of England's first ever green Lent campaign was launched by the Archbishop of Canterbury at his official residence, Lambeth Palace, on Tuesday. 

The #LiveLent 2020 campaign gives Christians the chance to follow 40 daily reflections, actions and prayers all geared towards greener living. 

A companion book has been written by Tearfund's Dr Ruth Valerio.  Called Saying Yes to Life, it encourages people to think beyond the traditional sacrifices of chocolate or alcohol and use Lent as an opportunity to think more deeply about their relationship with the planet. 

Just some of the questions posed during the series are: 

'How much water goes into making a pair of jeans?'

'Could you twin your toilet?'

'When was the last time you gazed at the night sky?'

'What was the carbon footprint of the meal I just ate?'

Launching the resources, Archbishop Justin Welby said: "We urgently need to rebuild our relationship with our planet. To do this, we need to change our habits – in how we pray and how we act.

"Lent is not just about discipline. It's about allowing Christ to show us what's keeping us from loving and serving Him – and joyfully letting it go.

"Whatever age you are, this Lent I hope you'll engage with God's plea for us to care for His creation, and that these campaign resources will help you on that journey."

Dr Ruth Valerio, Global Influencing and Advocacy Director at Tearfund, said: "Responding to the poverty and environmental crises of our times goes right to the heart of what it means to be a Christian in today's world, following God who calls us to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with him.

"My prayer for Saying Yes to Life and the Church of England's #LiveLent campaign is that they would inspire in us a deeper love for our global neighbours and the whole of God's creation, and would equip us to take action in our lives and in our churches."

#LiveLent booklets for adults and children are available from Church House Publishing. Anyone can sign up to receive the daily reflections free via e-mail, and from mid-February in an update to the #LiveLent app (for iOS and Android). Daily audio reflections will also be accessible through the Church of England's award-winning Alexa and Google Home smart speaker apps.