Carbon Fast 2014

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In partnership with Tearfund, the Anglican Dioceses of the South West are responding to the challenge of climate change by encouraging church members and congregations to reduce their carbon emissions by up to 40% during Lent 2014. Sign up at

Dear Colleagues

Lent 2014: please join our Carbon Fast

The season of Lent prepares the Church for the celebration of the death and resurrection the Lord.  These 40 days of discipline and self-denial can also help us to walk more closely with Christ throughout the rest of the year.  We are choosing to adopt extra prayer, fasting or some other spiritual activity not as an end in itself but rather because the cross is there ahead of us, drawing us onwards.

Many people chose to reduce their food consumption during Lent whilst simultaneously hoping to loose some weight!  By skipping a meal, we can also identify more closely with the daily reality of malnutrition suffered by millions of people.  We may have tended to think of starvation as an issue for overseas aid agencies whereas increasingly members of the Church of England are actively supporting food banks here in our own parishes.

For several years Tear Fund has been promoting carbon fasting and this year for the first time Gloucester Diocese have decided to participate.  In-fact, several other dioceses are participating and some of have set themselves ambitious targets, for example, aiming to cut their carbon by 40% in alignment with the 40 days of Lent. Whatever one’s views on the climate change debate, there is a growing consensus that the planet cannot sustain for much longer our Western consumer-driven lifestyles that are highly dependent on burning fossil fuels.

If you would like to learn more about these important issues then please come along to the Lent course at the Cathedral including a talk by the directot of “Operation Noah”. Details are available on the Cathedral website:

Lent begins on Ash Wednesday (5th March) and runs until Easter Sunday (20th April). Please refer to the guidelines (attached), which provide links to a wide variety of helpful resources. 

With every good wish and blessing

Yours sincerely


Lent 2014: resources for the Carbon Fast


Gloucester Diocese is making an initial response to the crisis of climate change by encouraging church members and congregations to reduce their carbon emissions during Lent 2014.  Mass consumerism that’s based on the burning of fossil fuels must surely be one of the biggest threats of the 21st century.  We owe it to God the creator of all things visible and invisible to become better stewards of the Earth’s resources and carbon fasting is one such response.


During the season of Lent the Church traditionally seeks to emulate and reflect on Jesus’ experiences during 40 days in the wilderness.  We chose to forsake our regular preoccupations by setting aside some time to ponder over God’s deeper purposes for our lives.

Our Lord not only created the Earth but he actually walked upon it.  The Bible is full of encouragement for the Church to play an active part in looking after it.

Lent 2014 is great opportunity to reduce our burning of carbon-based fuels, which are so much a part of the materialistic society that we live in.  Carbon fasting obviously has some symbolic value but if enough Christians make this a regular part of their lifestyle then the Church may help to help conserve valuable resources and hopefully reverse any ecological damage caused by carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.  


Our first priority during Lent is of course to pray regularly and to follow up by taking small daily actions in a consistent way throughout the coming 40 days. 

Here are some practical steps to get you started:

  1. As with any Lenten activity carbon fasting needs to be done prayerfully and modestly. 
  2. Estimate your personal carbon footprint using this official website:
  4. Answer questions about your home, appliances and travel
  5. Get your footprint results and compare yourself with other people
  6. See how you can reduce your footprint and save some money
  7. Take action as prompted by this website or other resources (listed below)
  8. At the end of Lent return to the website and re-enter your personal or household data then discover what a difference you have made!