THE Bishop of Dudley and Halesowen church members will be hitting the streets on Ash Wednesday offering to say a prayer for the people they meet.

The Bishop of Dudley, Graham Usher, will be among those collecting prayers during March 1, as will the Archdeacon of Dudley Nikki Groarke and the diocesan secretary Robert Higham.

Along with other clergy and lay people, they will be approaching members of the public to ask them for their prayer requests, which will be written on prayer cards to be prayed later at Ash Wednesday services.

Prayers will be being collected in Halesowen town centre between midday and 1pm and there will also be events in Kidderminster, Evesham and Pershore.

The Bishop of Worcester Dr John Inge said: “Each Ash Wednesday we head out onto the streets of the diocese offering to pray for individuals.

"We have always found that people really appreciate somebody taking the time and interest to pray for them and any problems or concerns that they’re currently experiencing."

He added: "The start of lent is a good time to focus on the difference that prayer can make.”

Bishop of Dudley Graham Usher added: "Ash Wednesday begins the Christian season of Lent, a time of prayer and preparation for Holy Week and Easter when we remember Jesus’ death and resurrection. I’m looking forward to being in Halesowen alongside other Christians this Ash Wednesday, inviting passers-by if I can pray for anything in their lives, or for those they are concerned about.

"I’ll be praying throughout lent for the people I meet.”

Christians believe Ash Wednesday is a date on the calendar when the focus of attention is on being sorry for things done and a day to cleanse the soul as the Lent fast begins.

Many churches have Ash Wednesday services at which worshippers are marked with ashes as a symbol of death and sorrow for sin.