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Church News

Church of England launch ash-like cross filter on Instagram for Ash Wednesday

The Church of England has launched a filter on Instagram that adds an ash-like cross to the user's forehead. 

As most people can't get to a church for an Ash Wednesday service, the Church of England has created a virtual way for people to mark the start of Lent. 

Amaris Cole, the Church of England's head of digital, told Premier the Church hopes it will lead to people learning something about the cross:

"Traditionally, Christians walk around on Ash Wednesday with the cross on their head and many tell us that they get stopped and asked what that cross means. So, we're wondering whether the same will happen on social media. Perhaps people will share the ash filter on Instagram and other people might message them and ask what it means to them."

The use of ashes symbolise that each one of us will return to dust after we die and also as a symbol of grief at our sin. 

By making the sign of the cross with the ashes, it shows the hope after death in Jesus' resurrection and the removal of our sin through Jesus' death on the cross. 


Amaris Cole added that the filter was a way to reach a different audience with the gospel: "The majority of our followers are under 34, which is great news. So, we're really excited that this might engage a younger audience in marking and remembering Ash Wednesday, but it's not just for younger people. We know that a whole range of people across the different age groups use the platform, so it's a really key place for us to be, to speak into that crowd and to reach them in new and engaging ways."

The Church has also provided at-home liturgy for families who want to mark the lead-up to Easter and it is encoraging people to mark each other with the sign of the cross at home. 


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