Faith leaders in Salford and Greater Manchester have been discussing how Christians can participate and celebrate the importance of Lent.

Universities and Colleges Christian Fellowship (UCCF) have been at Salford University to encourage students to participate in the Lent 40-day challenge.

UCCF intern leader, Kezziah Luxmoore, explains what Lent is and what the commitment means to Christians in a much wider context.

“It’s helpful to have someone to lead you and challenge you in ways you maybe wouldn’t want to sign up too.”

“Because there are challenges and sometimes we don’t like to put ourselves out there or challenge ourselves more than we maybe want.”

“It’s a cool way of challenging ourselves to be more generous and think about what Lent even is.”

Kezziah further elaborated into the ways people can explore Lent and the kind of things they can abstain from.

“I have friends giving up caffeine and TV. Last year my housemate gave up single use plastic.”

“I guess things that are good things but can get in the way and distract us. Or not necessarily distract us, but as we fast and lay down things, it creates space that we can use to focus on very great things.”

In this way, by giving something up and challenging yourself, you can also learn and improve yourself as a person during the period of Lent.

Fellow UCCF leader, Adam Jones, explains what he describes as the “deeper roots” of Lent and its biblical importance.

“Lent is a time of year lots of people just use for giving things up. For me it’s a time where I look forward to the highlight of the Christian year. Which is where we focus in on the life of Jesus and what he came from Heaven to earth to do.”

“As Christians we celebrate and look forward to understanding why he died and why he rose again from the dead.”

Adam describes how Easter and Jesus’ sacrifice connects to the true meaning of Lent.

“I think Easter marks that great moment in earth’s history where God has stepped onto earth, and died, and rose again from the dead.”

“Lent offers us a chance to give and step off the normal patterns of our lives. So, some people like to give stuff up like social media or chocolate, which is ironic because of the Easter bunny.”

“There’s a great joy at the end of Lent. It’s about giving stuff up, but at the end it’s an amazing celebration because you’re celebrating God coming to earth, dying for the brokenness of our world and for my life.”

“And then resurrecting and rising from the dead again, and so Lent helps us focus in on that and then you celebrate at the end of it.”

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