Diocese of Portsmouth



The season of Lent lasts for forty days (not including Sundays). It is a time when Christians reflect and prepare for the celebrations of Easter. Some people fast, eat frugally or give up treats following the example of Jesus, who fasted for forty days in the wilderness. 

People also give to charity, set aside time to study the Bible and meet with other Christians to reflect on Jesus’ life and prepare for the events of Holy Week and Easter. The national Church of England's Lent resources (entitled 'Dust and Glory'), which can help your personal reflections, are available by scrolling down this page.

See below for details of the special Lent Courses, music concerts, services and other events taking place across our diocese to mark Lent and Holy Week 2023.

Bishop’s Lent Appeal

Details of Bishop Jonathan’s chosen charities for this year’s Lent Appeal are USPG, and the Disasters Emergency Committee appeal to help those affected by the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria. You can find out details here.

National C of E Lent resources

This Lent we are all invited to explore how we can live well with the mess of everyday life.

Dust and Glory encourages us to take a fresh look at the frustrations and failings that every day brings and, rather than pretending we can always avoid them, seek to learn from them and grow closer to God through them.

The Archbishops’ Lent Book and Course

Failure: What Jesus Said About Sin, Mistakes and Messing Stuff UpDust and Glory: A Lent journey of faith, failure and forgiveness is the Church of England’s Lent theme for 2023. This year’s resources are informed and inspired by the Archbishop of Canterbury’s 2023 Lent Book, Failure: What Jesus said about sin, mistakes and messing stuff up (SPCK) by Bishop Emma Ineson, who has also co-written the daily reflections booklet for adults (CHP).

There will be free online support for groups studying the book – including in-depth video interviews with the Archbishop of Canterbury and others exploring the themes of each of the chapters.

The book will also be the 2023 Big Church Read for Lent.


Daily reflections – booklets, app, audio

As in recent years, the weekly themes of the Archbishop’s Lent Book are also explored in daily reflections from the Church of England.

Dust and Glory: A Lent Journey of faith, failure and forgiveness offers a daily Bible reading, a short reflection and a practical challenge, as well as a prayer linked to the week’s theme. Co-written by Bishop Emma Ineson and Abbie Martin, the booklet is designed to be used either in parallel with the Lent Book or independently.

An accompanying children’s version is also available to help children and their families explore how we can live well together, offering a simple daily activity designed to explore the weekly themes.

Both the booklets for adults and children are available to order now from Church House Publishing - individually or in money-saving packs of 10 or 50 copies.

The book and booklets will be accompanied by daily #DustAndGlory social media posts from Ash Wednesday (22 February) to Easter Day (9 April), together with a wide range of free digital resources for individuals, groups and churches.

An update to the award-winning Church of England campaigns app for iOS and Android – including daily audio – will be available in mid-February. Anyone who has the Church of England’s #FollowTheStar app installed will automatically get the Lent update.

The reflections will also be available via email and also via the Church of England’s smart speaker apps – as well as on the free Daily Hope phone line (0800 804 8044).


The campaign logo pack for print and digital is available to download.

The Way UK

We’re excited to be working in partnership with The Way, who create innovative faith-based video content by and for young people. Do encourage young people in your church to follow ‘The Way UK’ now on Instagram, YouTube and TikTok. Their content to accompany Lent and Easter will include videos exploring aspects of the Lent theme.


Big Church Read: Lent resources

The Big Church Read website has posted three resource videos for use with Lent study groups who are using the books And Yet by Rachael Newham, Embracing Justice by Isabelle Hamley, and Living His Story by Hannah Steele. Click here to watch.

St Andrew’s online bookshop have a number of discounted Lent books and study guides available, and offer discounts on bulk purchases – click here.


Archbishop Stephen Cottrell

In the Gospel of Mark’s account of the Passion narrative, Jesus calls out from the cross ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ – the first line of Psalm 22. It’s an anguished expression – traditionally ascribed to King David – of defeat, failure, abandonment and despair. Join the Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell, as he ponders the significance of these words. What does it mean for Jesus to have quoted them, at the very end of his life? What do those words mean for us? This is a beautiful and compelling exploration of the dark, suffering side of the Passion – and how Jesus’ words lead us to the greatest hope of all.

RRP £14.99 – click here to find out more.

Living Stones, Living Hope

USPG have released a 5-week study for Lent called Living Stones, Living Hope, exploring contextual theology from five different cultures. There’s a series of webinars and a downloadable PDF course guide, available here. They have also produced a number of liturgical resources for use in a variety of services, including all-age.

#LiveLent: Embracing Justice

Live Lent: Embracing Justice

Paperback, £1.99, Church House Publishing

Live Lent: Embracing Justice is the Church of England’s theme for Lent 2022. It invites us to examine our own lives truthfully, to see the world more deeply and to pray – for the church and the world far and near – that ‘justice may roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream’ (Amos 4.24).

For each day of Lent, this booklet for adults offers a daily Bible reading, a short reflection and a prayer, as well as a practical challenge. Each week follows a different thread through the many stories of justice in the Bible to explore how God works with humanity to bring justice, wholeness and salvation to all.

You can order single copies here or packs of 10 here.

#LiveLent: Embracing Justice, families edition

Live Lent: Embracing Justice (for kids)

Paperback, £1.50, Church House Publishing

This Lent booklet for children provides a fun daily action to help children and their families explore how we can live well together, as well as a weekly reading and prayer.

Each week follows a different thread through the many stories of justice in the Bible to explore how God brings justice, wholeness and salvation to all.

You can order single copies here, packs of 10 here, or packs of 50 here.

Resources from previous years

Thy Will Be DoneThy Will Be Done

Stephen Cherry

Thy Will be Done, by Stephen Cherry (of King’s College Cambridge, whose voice we hear every year at the annual Carol Service) is the latest of many books on the Lord’s Prayer that, more than any other prayer or thing, holds us together as individuals in the church. This is a good new opportunity to deepen our understanding of very familiar words – 57 of them in the Greek – and the book will help to simplify our prayer and devotion.

A Cross In The Heart Of GodA Cross In The Heart Of God

Sam Wells

A Cross in the Heart of God: Reflections on the death of Jesus is by the well-known broadcaster and vicar, Sam Wells. This is a typically thoughtful book, with a study guide too, from a priest who is able to be challenging and provoking as well as consoling and reassuring. Head on he doesn’t avoid the different understandings of Christ’s crucifixion and enables us to discover them as, indeed, God’s wondrous love.