Lent, Ash Wednesday and Pancake Races

School News Monday, 12 Feb 2024

The start of Lent combines a number of ancient traditions. We focus on two of these in Week Three of Term. The first is Pancake Day, or Shrove Tuesday. This follows the custom of removing all the tasty treats out of the home ahead of the fasting period of Lent.

The School is reviving the ancient tradition of Pancake Racing. The fast team with the most pancake flips is the winner! The race is a fine balance between skill and dexterity. This year’s winner will be announced at our next Secondary assembly. Click here to see photos from the Race.

Eggs, butter and sugar were all used to make pancakes. Once eaten , it was time to turn our attention to reflection and abstinence.

In other cultures, the same idea was celebrated as Carnival, or Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday). This is an opportunity to indulge in rich foods and dancing ahead of the sombre weeks ahead.

Ash Wednesday (click here to see photos) is the second significant day of Week Three, and is a ancient ritual of “ashing”. The sign of the Cross is made on the forehead with the burnt cinders of palm crosses from Palm Sunday of the previous year. The ash symbolises the fragility of humanity, and our weakness in the face of temptation.

In this way, we seek to enter into a reflective Lent, in which we think of ways to become more like the perfect creation made in the image of God. We recognise that we are broken, but will be made whole through Christ.

Thus, Ash Wednesday and Lent, and Pancake Day that precede them are important milestones in the School year. I wish you a good Lent.

Kind regards

Canon James Tabor
School Chaplain