Pirton man marks Lent by 40 church visits

EVERY year for Lent, many people give up their favourite treats be it chocolate, cake or alcohol. But one Comet country resident has decided to celebrate in another way, by visiting a different church service for each of the 40 days.

Howard Dobson of West Lane, Pirton, is going to church daily during the Lent period in the hope of learning about the different ways that people worship.

The Christian songwriter, who has written songs in the past which have been played in churches in the UK and USA, has so far visited services including Westminster Abbey, St Matthew’s in Westminster, Our Lady Immaculate and St Andrew in Hitchin and his local church, St Mary’s in Pirton.

It’s the first time he’s gone to a different service every day for the duration of the 40 days.

“I really love Lent. Every year I give up alcohol and although I’ve done that this year too, I wanted to do something different,” said the 39-year-old media officer.

“I’m always looking for something to do each year and didn’t just want to do the same thing this year.

“I thought it would be interesting to go to a whole range of church services.

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“It’s not just a case of going to church every day, but seeing how different people worship God in different ways.

“Some services are traditional, others not, some are informal and have music. So it all varies, and I want to experience that.”

Howard hopes that his feat will also provide inspiration for his song writing, and he’ll be able to use the different church experiences in his lyrics.

Next month, his journey will take him further afield, when he goes to the Holy Week celebrations in Seville, Spain.

He will then go to his local church, as he’s always done, on Easter Sunday.