Community Responses – Week Seven

And so, we’ve reached the final week of Living Lent. As we’ve travelled through the last seven weeks, the most significant discovery, for me, has been community.

As we’ve all attempted to take on our own challenges and have faced our own difficulties and excitement, the opportunity of the Living Lent community groups has been profound. We’ve discovered that making change on our own can be a real challenge, but together through encouragement, accountability and shared joy, we are capable of much more.

In the words of author and political writer Helen Keller: “Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much”.

Today, you can find some of our highlights of the last week’s community engagement. As you go forward, may you continue to find spaces to share your climate journey within community.

A lot of you have started getting a milk delivery to reduce your plastic. To share the joy of a younger member of Living Lent – it’s almost as exciting as Father Christmas visiting!

We’ve loved seeing the kids of class three at St Bernadette’s school get involved with Living Lent. This week, they’ve been enjoying the Living Lent poems from JPIT Poet-in-Residence, Revd Lucy Berry. If you haven’t had a chance to listen to these yet, you can find them here.

On the Facebook group, we’ve had the great discovery of Repair Cafes, a great place to make do and mend! One member said:

Today I went to my first Repair Cafe held in Chailey village hall, West Sussex. Repair Cafe is an international foundation and operates worldwide with over 70 sites in the UK. Today I had a pair of jeans re-stitched and a pearl glued back on to its post (earring). Plus, our much-loved dragon was taken away for ‘special’ treatment. All at no cost, they just ask for a donation. It was incredible to see so many people repairing items, what skills they have. There were three categories, electrical, fabric and general with a super organised structure for getting items repaired in an orderly and fair way. Bonus, homemade cakes!

You can find out if there’s a Repair Cafe near you on their website here.

Last Friday, our young people stepped back out onto the streets as part of the Youth Strike 4 Climate movement. One of our young Living Lent members shared:

“Today I went to the Youth Climate Strike in Parliament Square to raise awareness to the people who don’t know how important it is. While we were there, I saw an example of the damage that was actually happening because an additional protest was going on at the same time, which involved huge, smelly motorbikes. Those, cars, buses, trains and plains all burn fossil fuels, which increase climate change as well as polluting the air.

As this is my future, I feel very strongly about the issues of climate change. It doesn’t just affect me but then the generations to come. In addition, it has a huge negative impact on the wildlife we have on our planet. I’ve given up meat for Living Lent and tried to use less plastic. It isn’t easy but it is worthwhile making an effort because it is urgent. We only have about 10 years to act! I don’t want our planet to be grotty when we know what a beautiful place it can be.”

Some of you might be interested in watching ‘Climate Change – The Facts’ on BBC1 on Thursday at 9pm. Tweet us as you watch, to let us know what you think!

Finally, we’d love to hear more feedback from you as a community.

We would love to collect some feedback from you as to how you have found your Living Lent experience. In particular, we’d like to know:

– What aspect of your challenge have you found the most…well, challenging?
– What has been the best lifestyle change you’ve made, and why? 
– Do you think your challenge has affected your relationship with God? If so, how?
– Do you think your challenge has affected the way you respond to the environment? If so, how?
– Where do you think you will go from here? Will you be making some long term changes, or heading back to how things were before?

We’d love to hear stories, reflections, creative responses – anything and everything to see the impact Living Lent has had on our community. You can send your feedback on the Living Lent website or email us at enquiries@jointpublicissues.org.uk.

Send us your feedback here


Hannah Brown is the JPIT Intern for 2018-19. Her role involves managing JPIT’s social media, working with the Peace and Justice Forum and collaborating with the team to research and communicate key areas of JPIT’s workplan. She recently graduated from the University of Nottingham where she studied English Language and Literature. She has a background in local church partnership and engagement.