WINCHESTER Cathedral is spreading the love with free entry this Valentines Day.

With both Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day falling on February 14 this year, the Cathedral is opening its doors to all visitors as well as running special tours exploring the meaning of Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent.

To highlight the parallels between Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day, the cathedral is hosting events and activities inspired by the theme ‘Love is all you need’.

In Cathedral Close, visitors can receive ashes on their forehead informally with ‘Ashes to Go’, the traditional Christian observance of Ash Wednesday. Inside the Cathedral, there will be prayers in St Alphege’s Chapel, prayer and confession in the Epiphany Chapel, and prayer stations.

There will be several services, starting with Morning Prayer at 7.40am and finishing with Solemn Eucharist for Ash Wednesday and Imposition of the Ashes at 5.30pm.

The Very Rev Catherine Ogle, Dean of Winchester, said: “On Ash Wednesday we remember that we are simply human, we all make mistakes and we can ask for forgiveness. We can let go of resentment and fear and grow into new life and new love. Faithfully following ancient practice while engaging with contemporary culture is an important part of our calling as a Cathedral, in order that we can be a place and people of transformation.”

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