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What Hartlepool teachers have given up for Lent

Jenna Sanderson who is giving up bread. Photos courtesy of Steve Hope.
Jenna Sanderson who is giving up bread. Photos courtesy of Steve Hope.

It’s going to be tough but these Hartlepool teachers are giving up the things they love for Lent.

Sweets, chocolate, bread and social media are all out for some of the staff at English Martyrs School in Catcote Road. It’s their way of supporting the season of reflection and preparation before the celebrations of Easter

Bernadette Malcolmson who is giving up fizzy drinks. Photos courtesy of Steve Hope.

Bernadette Malcolmson who is giving up fizzy drinks. Photos courtesy of Steve Hope.

By observing the 40 days of Lent, Christians replicate Jesus Christ’s sacrifice and withdrawal into the desert for 40 days. Lent is marked by fasting, both from food and festivities.

Staff could return to the things they love on Easter Sunday.

Head teacher Stephen Hammond was giving up sugar in its refined forms, such as sugary drinks, chocolate, and sweets. He said: “I have a real sweet tooth so it’s going to be particularly difficult. However, it’s really helpful to have colleagues within our community at English Martyrs all supporting one another in the personal challenges we have set ourselves.”

Jane Johnson in the library and school chaplain Anne-Marie Lavelle were both planning to avoid social media. Anne-Marie said: “Often the hardest part is deciding what to give up, but once that decision has been made the next hardest part is sticking to it. However, one of the main focuses of Lent is that if we fail, we can start again.”

I have a real sweet tooth so it’s going to be particularly difficult. However, it’s really helpful to have colleagues within our community at English Martyrs all supporting one another in the personal challenges we have set ourselves

Stephen Hammond

Head of ICT Bernadette Malcolmson was planning to say goodbye to her love of fizzy drinks for Lent. Helen Crank was one of a number of staff who were choosing chocolate as their sacrifice.

Emma Fox in English is giving up caffeine while Mrs Julie Johnson, a Pastoral Support Officer, pledged to not buy any items of clothing over the next 40 day. Each day she will take an item out of her wardrobe and put in a charity bag.

When the bag is full, she plans to take it to a charity shop.

Others were choosing to take on challenges rather than give up something. Nick Dunn in RE was planning to say the Divine Office, which is the recitation of certain Christian prayers at fixed hours.

Anne-Marie Lavelle - Giving up social media. Photos courtesy of Steve Hope.

Anne-Marie Lavelle - Giving up social media. Photos courtesy of Steve Hope.

And Andrew McAllister from the music department was taking part in an initiative called 40 Acts which encourages people to do something new during Lent and do 40 acts of kindness.

Julie Johnson who is giving up shopping. Photos courtesy of Steve Hope.

Julie Johnson who is giving up shopping. Photos courtesy of Steve Hope.

Stephen Hammond (headteacher) - Giving up sugar in its refined forms, such as sweets, chocolate. Photos courtesy of Steve Hope.

Stephen Hammond (headteacher) - Giving up sugar in its refined forms, such as sweets, chocolate. Photos courtesy of Steve Hope.