Bishop is backing a campaign than encourages giving up meat on Mondays, store bought coffee and even chocolate for Lent

15:08 04 March 2014

Bishop of Ely, Rt Revd Stephen Conway

Bishop of Ely, Rt Revd Stephen Conway


The Bishop of Ely is backing a campaign that encourages people to make ‘small changes’ throughout Lent such as giving up coffee or banning meat on Mondays.

The Rt Rev Stephen Conway has lent his support to the SEED Project, a Cambridge based charity that helps transform lives in southern Africa.

“I am delighted to endorse SEED’s ‘Small Change’ challenge for Lent,” said the bishop. “ Little simplifications to our lifestyles make generosity possible even in a harsh economic climate.

“For rural communities in Zimbabwe, they translate into much more than we are giving up. I encourage you to support this campaign.”

Marie Nazombe, one of the founders of The SEED Project, said: “By giving up chocolate or store-bought coffee, joining in with Meat Free Monday, or cycling to work throughout Lent, you could save from £6 up to as much as £100.

“Then, by donating the money that you save to The SEED Project, you can help empower disadvantaged communities in Zimbabwe who have no luxuries to give up.

She said: “Your Lent sacrifice could enable a rural family to plant trees that provide them with a sustainable source of cooking fuel, could pay for intensive training for a new micro-savings scheme group, or could sponsor a parent to learn new skills so they can support their own family.”

“Please invite your friends, colleagues and family to join in the challenge,” she continues. Together, we can make a real difference in Zimbabwe.”

Since it was founded in 2005, the charity has had a growing impact on families trapped by poverty in Zimbabwe:

One group that SEED’s community development workers have been helping to establish a market gardening project was recently offered a contract with an international export company.

In 2009, volunteer trainers took SEED’s health training into 24 different communities, reaching almost three-quarters of a million (730,000) citizens in Zimbabwe with basic messages about hygiene, healthy living, disease prevention, and treating common illnesses.

SEED has also trained 130 parents with income-generating skills. Given an average family size of eight, that’s the lives of over 1,000 people transformed for the better.

To find out more about or to donate to SEED’s Small Change Challenge, visit

Lent begins tomorrow and finishes on April 19.


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