Bishop of St Albans issues Lent challenge

HE made history by announcing his appointment on an internet video website and now the new Bishop of St Albans is aiming to bring Lent into the 21st century. The Rt Rev Alan Smith believes that the way Lent is observed is changing and he has come up with

HE made history by announcing his appointment on an internet video website and now the new Bishop of St Albans is aiming to bring Lent into the 21st century.

The Rt Rev Alan Smith believes that the way Lent is observed is changing and he has come up with a new project of his own entitled Challenge which starts tomorrow, Ash Wednesday.

Challenge sends participants a daily email or text during Lent containing some words of Jesus. Participants are asked to "read it, learn it, pray it, do it" in order to make a difference to another person, to their community or the world at large.

1,300 people had signed up online a week before the start of Lent with nearly 400 joining in the past few days - including prisoners at The Mount in Hemel Hempstead.


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Bishop Alan said: "Giving something up for Lent is still widespread in our culture, usually chocolate or alcohol or maybe for the more eccentric, something like shoes. "But it's easy to question what that's for. It works better for some if they take something up, either instead of or as well as giving something up and I think people are already discovering that for themselves. I am encouraging them."

He said he was asking people to take up something this Lent that made a difference to others and added: "Challenge is a chance to discover that the words of Jesus are transformative and as radical now as when they were spoken.

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