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Over 20% to observe Lent - but with what?

Date: 21 February 2012
As the nation prepares to cook pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, over 20 per cent of adults are planning to observe the season of Lent, although nearly one in three of them don’t know what to ‘give up’ or ‘take up’, according to a new survey. Church House Publishing commissioned the survey to study the nation’s Lenten habits as it launches a new iPhone app - Reflections for Lent available from iTunes for £1.49 - containing daily reflections on Bible passages by leading authors.


Jane Williams, co-author of the material featured on the app, said: “You can take your Lent discipline with you wherever you go by using the new Reflections for Lent app. The readable reflections on the season's Bible passages are a good alternative or accompaniment to giving up chocolate or coffee.”


Women are more likely to observe Lent than men (27% versus 20%), the survey discovered, and the age group most enthusiastic about marking the season are 18-24-year-olds (30% of them will observe Lent in some way).


The following percentages were recorded in answer to the question: “Which, if any, of the following describe what you are planning to do for Lent this year?”:


Will do something but don’t know what yet (32% of those observing Lent)


Try to do more positive/kindly acts (21%)


Give up chocolate or other treats (17%)


Stop shopping for non-essential items (17%)


Give money to charity (10%)


Take up doing something spiritual like praying, reading the Bible (9%)


Stop swearing (9%)


Give up alcohol (8%)


Cut back on social media/gaming (7%)


Volunteer for a charity (7%)


Stop smoking (6%)


Something else (4%)


According to the results, women are nearly twice as likely to engage in positive/kindly acts as a Lent discipline. Men are twice as likely to give up alcohol for Lent, whereas women are nearly three times more likely to give up chocolate. Men are nearly twice as likely to spend less time on social media and gaming for Lent, and women are nearly one-and-a-half times as likely to stop shopping for non-essential items as a form of penance.

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Then afterward
    I will pour out my spirit on all flesh;
your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
    your old men shall dream dreams,
    and your young men shall see visions.

Joel 2:28

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