BISHOPS from the Diocese of Chichester took to the streets today to meet visitors and shoppers to mark the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday.
After pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, bishops will be out at the cross in Chichester today to perform the ancient custom of ‘ashing’ and responding to prayer requests.
The Bishop of Chichester, Dr Martin Warner, was in Brighton early this morning and will be in Chichester between 12.30pm and 2.30pm this afternoon.
Dr Warner will then celebrate the Ash Wednesday service in Chichester Cathedral at 5.30pm.
Dr Warner said: “The day is about prayer. It is about anything that seriously matters to people in their lives. We all have hurts that need to be healed.
“By walking the streets and talking to people as they travel to work or college – or simply to do the shopping or catch a train, we simply offer them a chance for a moment of reflection or prayer as we enter a valuable time of the year in the Christian calendar.”
Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent and occurs 46 days before Easter.
It takes its name from the practice of blessing ashes made from palm branches blessed on the previous year’s Palm Sunday, and placing them in the sign of the cross on the heads of participants.