Transforming the communities of Essex & East London through Christ’s presence

Bishop Stephen pushes the boat out for #washday15

4th Feb 2015

A new Church of England campaign called #washday15 will encourage social action during Lent and Holy Week.

The initiative is supported by the Bishop of Chelmsford, Stephen Cottrell, who said: 

“On the night before he died Jesus washed his disciples’ feet. Ever since then it’s been the vocation of the Church to respond to the needs of the world in loving service. 

“That loving service can express itself in all kinds of ways. So for instance, there are homelessness charities up and down our country and sometimes they just do simple things like wash someone’s clothes. But think of the big difference such a small act of service makes. That person’s clothes are washed and cleaned; that makes it easier for that person to get a job; that person gets a job and their whole life is transformed.”

Bishop Stephen, who is shown helping to wash a lifeboat in a short video to launch the campaign, says that people can make a big difference by small acts. 

“The washday challenge is to respond to the needs of the community through acts of loving service.”

The video is on the website

There are also special resources for use in primary schools to support the project.

The hashtag #washday15 will be used for tweets and pictures.

More information

In the video Bishop Stephen is shown at the RNLI lifeboat station at Southend and at HARP the homeless charity, of which he is a Patron, also at Southend.

Lent - which begins on Ash Wednesday, February 18 and ends on Maundy Thursday, April 2 - is the period of preparation for Easter.

Ash Wednesday is so called because of the practice of placing ashes usually on the forehead as a sign of repentance and a reminder of our mortality.

#washday15 is Maundy Thursday, the Thursday of Holy Week. On Maundy Thursday Christians will remember that Jesus Christ washed the feet of his disciples as an act of loving service. Some churches will have foot-washing as part of their Maundy Thursday services.

The following day is Good Friday, when Christians will remember, and reflect on, the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. 

On Easter Sunday, April 5, Christians will celebrate Jesus Christ's resurrection.