‘Ashes to go’ hotspots

The Church of England - - COMMENT -

A litur­gi­cal prac­tice of ash­ing people on the streets on Ash Wed­nes­day has spread from Amer­ica to Bri­tain. One pioneer of this form of out­reach is Sara Miles, a lay pas­toral min­is­ter at St Gre­gor y of Nyssa Epis­co­pal Church in San Fran­cisco. Sara, who also runs a food bank at the church, started go­ing on the streets to ash people in 2010 and has writ­ten about the cus­tom in City of God. In Chicago the prac­tice is known as ‘Ashes to go’ and un­der this la­bel it has spread to parishes in Lon­don. One par­ish in Cam­den Hill started to do it two years ago, of­fer­ing the im­po­si­tion of ashes and a mo­ment of prayer to people on the streets. Fam­ily pas­tor Mar­garet Pritchard Hous­ton set the project up. This year the idea was taken up by other parishes, termed ‘Ashes to go hotspots’ by the Dio­cese of Lon­don. Christ the Saviour in Eal­ing Broad­way have tweeted that they have ashed over 1,000 people ei­ther at ser vices or out­side in the street. St Ge­orge’s in Not­ting Hill Gate was an­other church of­fer­ing ashes to go. For Sara Miles re­li­gion is not so much about doc­trine or right be­hav­iour as about hunger and de­sire for life. In Take this bread she told how the Eucharist met her spir­i­tual hunger and led her to feed the hun­gry people of San Fran­cisco. In of­fer­ing ash on the streets she sees the church meet­ing a need for for­give­ness and re­birth through a re­minder of death.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.