Diocesan press releases

‘The essence of Ash Wednesday is turning again to Christ’

Bishop John led this morning’s Ash Wednesday Eucharist service, with the Imposition of Ashes, saying the day “is a timely reminder, as is the entire season of Lent, of our need for self-discipline”.

“That could be interpreted in a negative way but although we may, from time to time, be unlovely but we are never unloved,” he said.

“The essence of Ash Wednesday is turning again to Christ and remembering we can fall short, and do fall short, but amid all that the Lord’s arms are always open wide.”

The lesson came from the passage of the woman taken in adultery from the gospel of St John, and Christ’s challenge that the one who is without sin is the one who should cast the first stone.

Jesus then asks the woman if anyone has condemned her. When she says no, Jesus says he, too, does not condemn her, and tells her to sin no more.

The readings were from the book of Joel and from the second letter of Paul to the Corinthians.