An impromptu campaign by The Church of England in Lancashire (Blackburn Diocese) to encourage people to place home made crosses in their windows for Palm Sunday and throughout the current Holy Week has taken off on social media since last weekend.
The campaign was initially promoted prior to Palm Sunday in the daily email to parishes from the Diocesan Coronavirus Task Group; on the Diocesan website, as well as via the local media. It was spurred on by a campaign promotional image and this short video.
Many missed the blessing and distribution of palm crosses on Palm Sunday this year ... always a key feature of the important day in the Christian calendar at the start of Holy Week.
In response to the situation – a consequence of the coronavirus lockdown – Diocesan Bishop, Rt Rev Julian Henderson, the Bishop of Blackburn, encouraged every Christian home in Lancashire, of all denominations, to make a cross in the best way they can and place it in their window, leaving it there throughout this Holy Week.
Commenting on the response so far Bishop Julian said: “To not be able to meet in the usual ways on Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday will be deeply sad for people in our parishes across the County.
“This is a wonderfully creative response in the current circumstances, while it is also an opportunity to witness to others about our faith at this difficult time for all of us.
“In the cross of Christ there is the possibility of forgiveness for all who put their trust in Him and so the hope of eternal life beyond the grave. It is an empty cross, because Jesus is risen. I am delighted that so many people have embraced the idea.”
Crosses have popped up in windows across Lancashire and people have been encouraged to take a picture and upload it to social media using handles @cofelancs and @churchofengland and #holyweekcross
There is still time to do a cross of your own and place it in your window on the run up to this Easter Sunday. Why not have a go? And remember to post it to social media as above.
We have heard amazing stories too – such as one about the wonderful wooden rainbow cross that was placed on the front of her house by Caz Pinder from Nelson, a student of our M:Power Urban Lay Leaders Training Centre at St James’ Lower Darwen.
Caz’s cross prompted loads of comments from neighbours and this encouraged her to invite neighbours out onto the street to pray one evening this week (observing social distancing rules of course)! Many took her up on the offer to pray and at least one other house put up a cross of their own.