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Bishop tells South Devon Christians he'll be buying local during Lent

By Herald Express  |  Posted: March 16, 2014

  • BUYING LOCAL: Bishop Nick and his wife Jan

  • LIGHTS OUT: The floodlights on Exeter Cathedral's spectacular West Front will be turned off during the six weeks of Lent, as part of a south west initiative to cut carbon emissions

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THE Bishop of Crediton, Nick McKinnel, has pledged to buy and eat only local food this Lent, wherever possible. Bishop Nick and his wife Jan will buy only food grown and produced in Devon and Cornwall throughout the six weeks of Lent, which began last week.

He said: "I am hoping wherever possible to buy food sourced only in Devon and Cornwall.

"This helps to cut food miles and carbon emissions, as well as supporting local farmers.

"There are farm shops and farmers markets across the county which we hope to frequent, and by shopping for local produce, we are sure we will be eating more healthily too."

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His Lenten fast is part of the diocesan Carbon Fast initiative to cut carbon emissions.

The floodlights on Exeter Cathedral's West Front are also being turned off as part of the Carbon Fast campaign, which is being organised by the Church of England across the south west.

People across the region are being urged by the Church of England to find ways to cut their carbon footprint during the 40 days of Lent, a period during which Christians often undertake some kind of fast as preparation for Easter.

The cathedral's floodlights will be switched off until Easter Sunday, which marks the end of Lent.

Dean of Exeter Cathedral, the Very Rev Jonathan Draper, said: "Exeter Cathedral is glad to play our part in the Carbon Fast during Lent.

"Less light at the west end of the cathedral by shutting off the flood lights will be a visible symbol of our need to cut the carbon, and be part of how we address the challenges of climate change."

Floodlights around the paths on Cathedral Green will be left on.

Parishes, church schools and individuals are being encouraged by the Diocese of Exeter to commit to Carbon Fast 2014 as their Lenten discipline this year.

The aim of the fast is to try to reduce carbon emission by 40 per cent during the 40 days of Lent.

Those who sign up at www.thecarbonfast.org will receive daily, easy to achieve challenges like removing just one lightbulb at home or having a meat-free Monday.

Carbon Fast 2014 has been developed by the six south west Anglican dioceses — Bath and Wells, Bristol, Truro, Exeter, Salisbury and Gloucester — in partnership with the charity Tearfund.

Martyn Goss, environment adviser for the Diocese of Exeter who created the Carbon Fast resources with colleagues from across the south west, said: "We are encouraging members of churches to see small actions at home and at work can add up to make a significant difference to reducing carbon emissions.

"As Christians we are used to making ethical choices in other parts of our lives. It is essential we do the same regarding the environment.

"It is not right we leave a poisoned planet as a legacy to our children's children, but take action to reduce the damage we do to the Earth and to heal and replenish life for the longer term."

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