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Lenten Station Masses to be held across East Anglia

Lenten Station Masses will be held in the seven deaneries across the Diocese of East Anglia, celebrated by Bishop Alan Hopes.

Each Mass will begin with an exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Sacrament of Reconciliation at 6pm, followed by the Station Mass at 7pm celebrated by Bishop Alan and priests of the deanery, with soup, bread and cheese at 8pm.

Masses will take place at:St Luke in Peterboroughon February 20,St Edmund in Bury St Edmundson February 22, Our Lady and the English Martyrs, Cambridge on February 26, StGeorge,Sprowston, Norwich on March1, St Pancras, Ipswich on March2, Holy Family, King's Lynn on March6 and St Peter, Gorleston on March8

Bishop Alansaid: "Let us take the opportunity this Lent to come home to the Father! Encourage those who no longer worship with us or have lost their way, to come home to the Father! And when you have done so, become a missionary of God's loving mercy in your family, in your place of work or learning, in your local community, in your local Christian community. For mercy is the beating heart of the Gospel and must be the beating heart of every Christian community and every Christian life."

The "Station Mass" originated in Rome under the auspices of Pope Gregory the Great. They were conceived as a daily pilgrimage in the footsteps of the martyrs and saints. Pilgrims and penitents visited 40 churches in Rome on foot and performed penitential exercises and celebrated Mass in each "stopping place" or "station". In doing so, they were also following the example of Jesus who went out into the desert and fasted for 40 days and forty nights in preparation for his mission.

Pictured above is a previous Lent Station Mass at St John's Cathedral in Norwich.