Lent to be observed by more than one in five UK adults


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The Independent Online

More than one in five British adults is planning to observe the Christian season of Lent when it starts tomorrow, according to a survey.

An online poll has shown 23% of adults will do something for Lent, but nearly one in three of those who say they will take part, at 32%, do not know what they will do yet to mark the season.

The survey has been released on Shrove Tuesday when pancakes are traditionally prepared to mark the start tomorrow, Ash Wednesday, of Lent.

The research into 2,024 people aged 18 and over was conducted earlier this month and showed that more women than men planned to observe Lent, at 27% compared to 20%.

The most enthusiastic age group were 18 to 24 year olds, according to the poll, with 30% saying they planned to observe the season in some way.

Traditionally Christians observe a period of penitence, prayer and reflection in the run-up to Easter with acts of self-denial such as giving up alcohol and chocolate.

The survey found 21% of those planning to do something over Lent say they will do more positive and kindly acts over the season, 17% will give up chocolate or other treats and 8% plan to give up alcohol.

The poll marks the launch of a new iPhone app by Church House Publishing with daily reflections on Bible passages for Lent.

A Church of England spokesman, commenting on the survey results, said: “This shows that there is a huge fringe of people who take their Christian faith seriously but perhaps have got out of the habit of going to church.”