Cutting out petrol for Lent: Father David’s electric car challenge for CAFOD

Father David with a Nissan Leaf
Father David will by driving an electric Nissan Leaf during Lent 2015

Father David Osbourne is the Parish priest of Cranleigh and Bramley. This Lent he’s cutting out petrol and will be donating all of the money saved to the CAFOD Lent Appeal. The help complete his petrol-free Lent challenge, Crawley Nissan have allowed him to borrow a new Nissan Leaf car.

For me, this Lent, ‘Cut it Out!’ means trying to cut out some use of fossil fuels used in motoring and thus call attention to alternative power sources and uses. This may highlight our almost total dependence on fossil fuels which are not only irreplaceable but are contributing to the largest contemporary threat to civilization – global warming.

Find ideas for how you can reduce your carbon footprint this Lent

I have been loaned an electric car by Nissan to experience whether battery powered vehicles are an alternative not only for the “keenies” but a viable alternative for mass transport.

I’m not sure that’s possible either!

But this little experience will help me to understand the issues of living with an electric vehicle and highlight the possibilities of us all moving sooner or later from petrol to a more environmentally sustainable form of everyday transport.

At the moment electric vehicle technology is still very much in its infancy. Things I will be watching and monitoring are issues such as performance and range. Practicality is a real issue. If I deplete the battery how will I recharge and where? How long will it take? Can I drive into London easily and park? You bet I’ll try. Can I overtake safely if I need to? How much will it cost to “refill” the car, as we all know mains electricity doesn’t actually grow on trees!

I won’t be giving up my beloved little Smart car any time soon as I don’t have the funds to be able to buy a new car (as well as the fact that I’m very fond of my little runaround) but I’m looking forward to seeing what this little Nissan will do to help us all Cut it Out this Lent.

What are you cutting out this Lent? Read about what CAFOD staff are cutting out or doubling up this year and get inspiration from out  ‘Cut it Out’ fundraising ideas.

Watch this video showing Father David two weeks into his Lent challenge:


Donate any money you save by fasting this Lent to the CAFOD Lent Appeal and the UK government will match your donation pound for pound up to the value of £5 million!

Author: CAFOD

CAFOD stands for the Catholic Agency For Overseas Development. We are an international development charity and the official aid agency of the Catholic Church in England and Wales. We stand beside people living in poverty – whatever their religion or culture. Through local church partners, we help people directly in their own communities, and campaign for global justice, so that everyone can reach their full potential. How to get involved with CAFOD None of our work is possible without you. Whether you donate, campaign, download prayers or volunteer we are grateful for your support.

3 thoughts on “Cutting out petrol for Lent: Father David’s electric car challenge for CAFOD”

  1. Well done David with the EV challenge, we at love a good Electric Car challenge. The key to owning an electric car, if you need to travel further than the range, is journey planning, You need to know when and where you will charge and be aware of all the different charging types and networks. We have listed all the required information including a charge map and featured details of how to get free access to EV charging networks on our website.

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *