The front page of The Irish Times today (23 February 2009) carries the following report:
Students put their heads together for ‘Shave Tuesday’
Religious Affairs Correspondent
In what has to be among the more unusual Lenten gestures, students preparing for the ministry at the Church of Ireland Theological Institute in Dublin are planning a mass hair loss for Shrove Tuesday.
Or “Shave Tuesday,” as they have renamed it.
Tomorrow afternoon six will have their heads shaved and others will have their legs waxed, for charity.
In turn they are appealing to every parish throughout the Church of Ireland to collect at least €1 from each parishioner during Lent.
The proceeds will go to the St Francis’s Hospital in Zambia, through the Anglican Mission Agency, USPG (United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel).
“Lent is quite properly a penitential season. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun with it while doing some good for others,” suggested group “Hair-Loss” organiser Patrick Burke, a final year student at the institute.
“Shaving one’s head is a traditional way of doing penance. Doing it with a bunch of friends in front of your colleagues and teachers is a bit of a laugh. And doing it for a worthy cause is the best of both worlds.”
The Church-run St Francis’s Hospital in Katete is the only source of healthcare for a large rural population in Eastern Zambia.
Malaria, Aids and TB have decimated the working population of the area and have left many orphans in a place where most people live at subsistence levels.
“It’s a very simple idea,” said Patrick. “If one or two people in each parish simply take up a collection and send it on, a lot of money could be raised for a really good cause very easily.”
Donations can be sent to Head Shave, Church of Ireland Theological Institute, Braemor Park, Dublin 14, or contact Patrick Burke at email@example.com.
This report is also available online at: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/frontpage/2009/0223/1224241665717.html
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This post was updated with a youtbube link on 27 February 2009