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Turn central heating down for Lent, says Bishop of Salford

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image captionThe bishop says climate change is a 'very urgent matter'

A Catholic bishop has urged his flock to "turn the heating down" for Lent instead of giving up chocolate.

Bishop of Salford, John Arnold, wants churchgoers to abandon traditional penances in favour of lifestyle changes to tackle climate change.

Other suggestions include using the bus instead of a car and hanging out washing instead of using tumble dryer.

The bishop plans a "major environmental project" at his residence.

In his Ash Wednesday message, the bishop reminded worshippers in the Salford diocese that climate change was a "very urgent matter".

"Often Lent invites us to private reflection about personal routines of prayer, fasting and alms-giving. I would ask that, this year, we look beyond personal lives."

'Trivial actions'

He said: "Unless we achieve significant progress in the next 12 years, our scientists are certain that our future generations will suffer life-changing consequences with no means of turning the clock back. "

The bishop said a number of what "might seem trivial actions" can make a "great difference".

"We can cut the temperature on our central heating (perhaps wearing a pullover around our home)," he said.

He added; "We can turn lights off in unused rooms, hang washing out to dry rather than using energy-expensive drying machines."

In 2015, the Pope blamed human greed and selfishness for damaging the planet and called on everyone to take action to stop climate change.

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