THEY might have the ash from last year's palm crosses to mark
their foreheads, but the children of St Peter'sC of E Primary
School in Folkestone, Canterbury diocese, have
turned their sins to ash as well.
During a special service on Ash Wednesday to mark the start of
Lent,the Priest-in-Charge, the Revd David Adlington, asked the
children to write down lists of their sins, keeping them private.
At the end of the service, pupils and staff processed out of the
church to the school playground to stand arounda metal waste-paper
Mr Adlington then called representatives from each class to
deposit the lists of sins in the bin, and then he set light to
them. The head teacher, Toni Deacon, said: "We included the burning
of sins for the first time, as we wanted to focus on the theme of
forgiveness, and the fact that, if we are truly sorry for the
things we have done wrong, God forgives.
"The burning was very visual for the children and demonstrated
the point that, once we have said sorry and God has forgiven us, we
move on, and our sins are 'wiped away'."
When she spoke to some children after the service, it was clear
that they had a good understanding of the reason behind the
burning. One child said: "I wrote my sins on a piece of paper, and
no one else knew because it was between me and God. We burnt them
because wesaid sorry in church, and God has forgiven us; so the
sins have gone away."