Tuesday, 6 March 2007

Gestures of mercy

This year, following the presedent of the past two years, we are holding the Stations of Cross weekly in the streets. Where I live in Huddersfield the culture of death is very strong: gangs, guns, drugs, alcohol and serial sex - I didn't feel that, as a parish, we should huddle all of our prayer and spirituality inside the church. It is too late in the day for that. Our culture needs to see signs of grace and mercy. If we do not give those gestures, who will?

In fact, it is very easy and fitting to make the Stations in the street. As you can see, we have an 8ft cross which we carry. We move along the pavement stopping every 20 yards or so and very briefly reflect and pray the Stations. It takes not much more than 25 minutes to make the 14 Stations, and many people see us. Occasionally a car blasts its horn at us, but mostly we see people stopping and taking in what they see - and indeed, all who see us know what we are doing. Sometimes children, or even people out walking their dogs will come and join us. What we are doing might seem unusual to some, but in fact, it is necessary. Christ needs to be seen on the streets more than ever. The culture of death sets itself up as a wall against grace and it seems impregnable - but the mercy of God is the most powerful force in the Universe.

At present we're making the Stations in Sheepridge, Huddersfield on Saturdays at 12 noon. In you are in the vicinity come and join us. (There is a Holy Hour in Church beforehand at 11.00am.)

Perhaps you could initiate outdoor Stations in your neighbourhood.


Matt Doyle said...

That is one of the most beautiful reflections on the Stations that I have read this Lent. Bravo both of you Fathers for "takin' it to 'em!"

Fr Ray Blake said...

What a good idea, I've thought about doing it in Brighton. Maybe I should forget the thinking and just do it.