During our 5 o’clock evening service this week James asked us to think about ‘Feasting’ and ‘Fasting’.  They are both things that Jesus talked about and took part in.  Celebrating, feasting and offering good hospitality may be something we are good at and find easy and they are important things to do.

But fasting can allow us the time and space and resources to do something different and put something else in the space of eating. James talked about ‘The Mean Bean Challenge’ that is being launched by Tear Fund and suggested it as a possible way to introduce an element of fasting into our lives.

What is it? 

Eat rice and beans ( the same diet as those in many countries of the world) and raise money to help beat poverty and hunger.


The meal a week programme – eat rice and beans only for  one meal each week and put the money you would have spent on the day’s food in a jar, stick a mean bean sticker on it ( available at the back of church or on-line) and after 6 or 12 months give the money you have saved to those in need.

The 5 day one-off programme – eat porridge, rice and beans only for  5 consecutive days, get sponsored for this and give the money you have raised to those in need across the world.

What can I eat?

Plain rice, plain beans and water for lunch or dinner. No sauce, no baked beans. The idea behind the challenge is to make the food as plain as possible. However a small amount of salt or seasoning may help!

Where do I send the money?

You can choose which charity you send the money to, or you can give the money to Tear Fund who promote the challenge. If you want to pool the money as a church, let James know.  Maybe you or your family could save £5 a week, over a year that is £250. That in itself is enough to provide 4 families with life-transforming skills to lift them out of poverty. Will you join in and help make a difference?

More information can be found at Tear Fund’s Mean Bean Challenge webpage.