Taking Ash Wednesday traditions onto the streets

People in Leeds -  on the streets of Cross Green, and in the city centre at Holy Trinity Boar Lane -  were offered the ancient custom of “ashing” and the opportunity of a moment’s prayer, or reflection as an Ash Wednesday tradition was taken out into the community.


Fr. Darren Percival, Priest in Charge of St Hilda’s Cross Green and St Saviour’s, Richmond Hill is pictured taking the ashes, traditionally used as a sign of the cross on the forehead, on Ash Wednesday onto the parish streets at the start of Lent.


“Ash Wednesday is one of the most important and holy days in the churches liturgical calendar”, said Darren.


“Having been a self – supporting priest until my appointment here in Leeds last September, I know making time to go to church is somewhat difficult for everyday folk. 


“So this year in the sleet, snow and biting cold, we decided to take the church to the streets of Cross Green, where people were prayed for and ‘ashed’.


“In communities such as Cross Green and Richmond Hill, it is vitally important that the church which is the heartbeat of its community is seen in action upon the streets,  communicating the gospel in action where it can be easily understood and taken to heart by people who are on the very edge of society.”


Meanwhile, the Revd Lynne Grey and Sister Karen Elizabeth are pictured, (right), offering Ashes to Go to the people around Leeds Holy Trinity, the Trinity Centre and Boar Lane.


"We braved the very cold weather with rain and snow", said Lynne, "but it proved to be worth the effort.

"Eighteen people stopped to accept prayers and ashes, four asked for prayers only and we were greatly encouraged by a bus driver tooting his approval and waving to us as he passed by."


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