During Lent 'don't just give up, take up'

LENT officially started on Wednesday, and if you're already struggling to stay away from the chocolate, the message is don't panic.

"Lent is about growth, not penance," according to parishioners at St Nicholas' Anglican Church in Sawtell, who are giving up more than just junk food this year.

Barbara Patton is devoting time to being devout, taking up more bible reading and study during the 40 days before Easter, while husband, Peter, will be 'refocusing'.

"I'll be spending time thinking about where I want to go and what I want to do," Peter said.

Elaine Cleary will be giving up time as well to run a women's bible study group on Tuesday evenings during Lent.

Reverend Sally Miller will be doing something different.

"I don't give up, I take up," Rev Miller said.

"This year I'll be making space to just stop and listen awhile.

"And people should remember that Lent is not about beating yourself up, it's about having another look at who you want to be and who God would want you to be."

Lent leads into Holy Week for St Nick's, which includes a dawn ecumenical service on the beach.

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