By Fr Stuart Tanswell
Lent, in the Church year, is the period of time before Easter – beginning on Ash Wednesday, the day following Shrove Tuesday (or Pancake Day). For Christians, it is a time of getting ready for Easter, a time of looking at how you are living your life.
For many people Lent means a time for giving things up since, when we look at how we’re living, we can see what isn’t quite right. Sometimes we do this quite instinctively, knowing that we’ve been eating way too much chocolate, and so resolve to cut it out until Easter.
Some people, though, feel that the opposite is more appropriate – rather than giving something up, it is more appropriate to take something else up instead. This might be spending more time in prayer or bible study, giving time to help others, or gifting more to charity.
Or it could be a combination of both – giving up something like chocolate, and giving the money saved to charity.
Hope for orphans
Vale Church has a long-standing link with a charity called Tariro, a UK-based charity which raises money to support orphans or young people [some of whom are pictured above] whose one parent can’t support them anymore. Tariro means ‘Hope’ in Shona, one of the main languages in Zimbabwe. Between 45 and 50 young people receive help and support in four centres in Zimbabwe – support in school; support in further education; and practical support until they are able to support themselves. Young people are given hope and a reason to live, and so the opportunity to reach their potential.
During Lent, members of Vale Church are involved in a couple of initiatives to raise money for Tariro. Firstly, there is a campaign to collect money in tubes throughout Lent – the money we might otherwise have spent on something else. Secondly, we are hosting a series of Lent Lunches to raise money for Tariro. Every Friday there will be a simple lunch, open to all, in the Billie & Leslie Norman Rooms on L’Abbaye.
Want to help?
If you would like to see more information about Tariro, please go to their website at https://tarirouk.com. For more information about our Tariro fundraising, or if you would like to contribute, please do get in touch be email on[email protected] or by phone on 244088.
During this season of Lent, whether or not we have a faith, may we take the opportunity to consider our lives – what we might need to give up, and what we might need to take on – as we move through this year.