The Bishop of Chichester is to mark Ash Wednesday – the start of Lent – on the streets of Brighton.
Bishop Martin Warner will be joined by thousands of Christians across the area who begin their Lenten observance on one of the holiest days in the Christian calendar.
Dr Warner will start the day in Brighton helping to serve breakfasts at the St Joseph’s Catholic Church Night Shelter on Elm Grove.
After mirroring Pope Francis’s call to mark 2016 in the Diocese of Chichester as the Year of Mercy Dr Warner is delighted to visit a catholic church involved in the City-wide Ecumenical Night Shelter project at the start of Lent.
The Bishop of Lewes, Richard Jackson, will join him and they will talk to service users’ during their time there.
After serving breakfast Bishop Warner will go on a walking tour distributing coffee and pastries assisted by David Bolton from Cross Over Church.
Lent reflects the 40 days and nights Jesus spent in the wilderness and prepares Christians across the world for Easter.
It is usually a day of reflection and fasting when Christians receive the sign of the cross, marked in ash on the forehead.
In the afternoon Dr Warner will move on to Chichester and join local clergy at the Market Cross for from 1pm.
There they will offer lunchtime shoppers an opportunity to have the cross marked in ash on their foreheads.
In the evening (5.30pm) Dr Warner will lead the main Ash Wednesday service at Chichester Cathedral at which he will preside and preach.
The Bishop of Chichester will also be accompanied throughout the day by Bishop Emmanuel, the Bishop of Bo, West Africa, who is visiting the parishes and people of the Anglican diocese of Chichester. The Diocese of Bo covers the southern and eastern half of Sierra Leone.
The Diocese of Chichester is linked with the Diocese of Bo and Dr Warner returned from a visit to Gambia recently.
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