Fire!

by Michael Ford last modified 02 Mar, 2020 04:23 PM

Preparation for the start of Ash Wednesday begins with the burning of last year's palm crosses.

For some, like the parishioners from St Mary's Parish Church West Moors, the blaze occurs outside and is contained, but unfortunately that wasn't the case at Tisbury, where the drying off of the palm crosses in the Rectory oven ended up with a visit from the Fire Brigade!

Team Vicar for Tisbury and the Fonthills in the Nadder Valley Benefice, the Revd Juliette Hulme, explained that during a meeting with our Associate Warden of Licensed Lay Ministers, Canon Judy Anderson, they both suddenly noticed smoke.

"I was trying to dry off the crosses before burning them in a braizer, but I forgot about them. The kitchen was full of smoke and then I made it worse by taking the already burnt crosses out of the oven.

"We rang the Fire Brigade for advice, but they sent a fire engine and we were told that it is very important to always phone 999 even if it just seems like smoke.

"After they had had helped us open all the windows and clear the smoke they asked if they could take a picture for their website.

"The firemen had come from Shaftesbury and they are keen to recruit more volunteers from Tisbury and thought this picture might help!"

"We were happy to oblige and also I have learnt that we should always ring 999..."

Thankfully once the smoke was gone the palm crosses could provide the ash ready to go for the Imposition of Ashes on Wednesday at Tisbury, where parishioners were unaware of the earlier drama.

Ash Wednesday essentially begins Lent. It is an important day in the Christian calendar as it is a day of penitence to cleanse the soul before the Lent fast begins.

The day gets its name from the traditional blessing of the ashes after burning the Palm branches, or crosses made from Palm leaves, from the previous year’s Palm Sunday celebrations.

Across our diocese, people attend services where their foreheads were marked with the sign of the cross using these ashes and the words “Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return. Turn again from sin and be faithful to Christ”.

It begins a time when as Christians we can re-establish for ourselves the patterns of prayer, study and Christian life that sustain us. Lent is a time of joyful simplicity seeking to renew our relationships with God, one another and the whole of creation.

Do of what you;'re doing in Lent!

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