African archbishop calls for a carbon fast for lent

The Anglican church in southern Africa includes some of the countries most vulnerable to climate change. Two Dioceses (Lebombo and Niassa) have been hit by devastating floods, leaving over 150,000 people homeless.

Archbishop Thabo Magkoba, convenor of the Anglican Environmental Network invites Anglicans from around the globe to join him this Lent in making a difference by focussing on ‘acts of love and sacrifice’ – of which Ash Wednesday speaks, and on our contribution to climate change and those most impacted by it.

Lent is a time of repentance and fasting, of turning away from all that is counter to God’s will and purposes for the world and all who live in it. A specific action is prescribed to each of the ‘forty days’ which educates the participant and provides a significant action affecting creation positively.

The fast builds on traditional Lenten practices where we give something up, such as chocolate or alcohol. The Carbon Fast asks participants to focus on giving up, or making changes to our lifestyle, to reduce our ‘carbon footprint’ – our total impact of environmentally damaging greenhouse gas emissions, usually measured in carbon dioxide equivalent, hence the name.
A traditional Lenten observance is ‘Fish on Fridays’. Why not also have a ‘Meat-free Monday’ – or some other day, if on Mondays you usually eat Sunday’s leftovers? Did you know that ‘a kilogram of steak could be responsible for as many greenhouse gases as driving a car for three hours while leaving all the lights on at home’ (D Fanelli, New Scientist, 2007, 2613:15)?

The carbon fast is available at
Participants can record experiences at a blog which will be available from Ash Wednesday through to Easter Sunday.

This is a guest post by Rev Rachel Mash who is now environmental Coordinator for ACSA (Anglican Church of Southern Africa ) covering RSA, Lesotho, Namibia, Angola Swaziland and Mozambique.

Further details can obtained from
Rev Ken Gray

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