This week parents, children and staff from Kennet Valley School, Lockeridge, have participated in two special events to mark the start of Lent in the Christian calendar.
Ahead of Shrove Tuesday the Friends of Kennet Valley School organised a very popular pancake race and on Ash Wednesday a special service was held in West Overton church to mark the start of Lent.
Despite the lack of spring sunshine crowds gathered to make the pancake race a success. Lucy Humphries is secretary to the KVS Friends Association: “The races were slick and competitive with some successful and less successful pancake flipping en route to the finishing line with the encouraging cheers of the spectators!”
“It was all great fun and everyone was able to warm up inside with hot drinks in the pop-up café. A fine selection of fresh pancakes was available with a choice of scrumptiously sticky fillings in addition to the traditional lemon and sugar option.”
The Rev. Maria Shepherdson led the special Ash Wednesday church service. She explained why Pancake Day is celebrated at the beginning of Lent and how giving up something up for Lent could mean giving up a habit, a mood or an emotion.
The ash for Ash Wednesday had been created by burning last year’s Palm Crosses. This, explained Rev. Maria Shepherdson, was to be mixed with Holy Oil that had been blessed at Salisbury Cathedral.
Two pupil volunteers from Reception and Year 6 mixed the ash with the holy oil. This was used to mark a cross on Rev. Shepherdson’s forehead. The ash cross, she explained, is an important symbol to Christians.
Parents also participated in the service by donning the special purple Priest Robes which were in the Lent colours and made of delicate silk with silver thread. The significance of these robes was also explained.
The service ended with a prayer and all the pupils singing ‘Colours of Day’ which is about the life of Jesus.
Head Teacher of Kennet Valley School, Mrs Russell, commented: “It is so important for our pupils to understand the full meaning behind the Easter story, and we encourage them to use this time to reflect.”