Diocese of

Hexham and Newcastle

Bishop Robert Byrne CO

Ashes to Go 2016 - Sunderland

Bishop Seamus and Bishop Paul (the Anglican bishop of Durham) worked together on Ash Wednesday, to provide a powerful Christian witness in the city of Sunderland, with Fr. Marc Lyden-Smith of St. Mary's, and Canon Sheila Bamba of the Anglican Sunderland Minister.

The day started at 10am in the beautiful Anglican Church in the city, with a Church of England Eucharist of around 40 people, in which Bishop Seamus gave the sermon. The two bishops then blessed ashes, and together with Fr. Marc and Canon Sheila, took to the streets to offer Ashes and prayers to shoppers in the city centre. Many people approached them to receive Ashes, with many of them not regular church goers but clearly delighted with the idea of "Ashes to go".

Parishioners accompanied the clergy to hand out fliers and information about lent, and the Christian faith.

Then over 400 people packed into St. Mary's Catholic Church for. Celebration of Mass, presided by Bishop Seamus and in which Bishop Paul offered the homily.

"I've seen nothing like it, it was an absolutely beautiful Mass, and to see the Anglican clergy with our Bishop and Fr. Marc, all praying together was just wonderful and very powerful" said St. Mary's parishioner Molly South.


Pictures reproduced with the kind permission of David Allan Photography and Keith Blundy.