Ashes to Go

On Ash Wednesday a number of our churches offered 'Ashes to Go'. Here is a story from St Columba’s, Anfield who took to the streets to witness to their Christian faith.

At 10.00 am on Ash Wednesday, the clergy and people from S. Columba’s, Anfield took to the streets to witness to their Christian faith. No one could imagine what the day would hold, as the imposition of ashes was offered to those who live and work in the parish. After a quiet start, more and more people started to receive this visible symbol of Christ’s cross, as a sign of repentance. The Vicar, Fr Ray Bridson spent several hours outside Anfield Crematorium, as a vivid reminder that we are dust and to dust we shall return.
The Curate, Fr Daniel Howard spent the day moving around the populous areas of the parish including: Pinehurst Avenue, Utting Avenue, both ends of Priory Road and Townsend Lane. 
With this sign of repentance was the important message that we are not without hope. The Collect for Ash Wednesday accompanied the imposition: ‘you hate nothing you have made and forgive the sins of all who are penitent’.
Faithful parishioners handed out leaflets and gently encouraged people to receive the the gift of prayer and ashing. It is estimated that 100 people received the sign of the Cross, including many from local businesses. The day ended at 5.30 pm, with a sense of thanksgiving for all that had been done in Christ’s name. Mass was celebrated at 7.30 pm and the congregation included five people who had received ashes on the street and had not previously been to church, one of them, a teenager, will hopefully receive the sacraments of initiation at the Easter Vigil.