This morning was Ash Wednesday, so we thought we'd break from the norm and some of us headed to the back of Clapham Junction station with some ash and a sign saying 'It's Ash Wednesday, we love to pray for you!' Our curate Kaf was wearing her dog collar and had already 'ashed' her forehead so she was looking the part.
We wanted to take a risk and were interested to see how many people would engage with the ash, and to be honest the answer was - not many!
We had a good chat with a guy handing out magazines who was very friendly. Then a girl came straight up to us and asked 'is there a prayer that I could take' and we asked her if she was a Christian and she said her mum was. So we prayed for her and she wanted an ash cross on her hand as a sign of repentance and God's love, which she was blessed by.
We prayed for another chap who was on his way to an appointment and wanted a cross on his head, which we thought was bold of him!
We also prayed for a lady on her way to the GPs for her sickness - she was happy to be prayed for if a little ambivalent. And we were able to pray short blessings on some other folks and also had a number of conversations with people asking if they knew if it was Ash Wednesday and if they were giving anything up for lent - one guy said 'i'm trying to give up these' as he stubbed out his cigarette..
It felt like we were more present this morning in an obvious way as we were waiting for people to walk past us rather than the other way round. It was good to try something different.