First for Archbishop Cushley at Holyrood

Archbishop Leo Cushley gave out ashes to MSPs and staff
Archbishop Leo Cushley gave out ashes to MSPs and staff

Archbishop Leo Cushley has once again made history as the Scottish Parliament played host to sacred rites on Ash Wednesday for the first time.

A committee room in the Parliament’s Queensberry House became an impromptu chapel for the occasion, which was sponsored by Elaine Smith MSP and attended by cross-party MSPs and staff.

During his homily, the Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh dwelt upon humanity’s innate need for God as symbolised by the distribution of ashes.

Archbishop Cushley, from Uddingston, said: “I think that is a very good and very wholesome thing for us to do and it takes genuine human maturity to be able to do that sincerely and to wish to improve oneself in order to become the Child of God we were always meant to be.”

The Lenten liturgy follows on from last year’s Holy Week celebrations when Archbishop Cushley became the first ever cleric to offer Holy Mass within the Scottish Parliament.

The Bishops’ Conference of Scotland now hopes such occasions will become a normal part of Parliament’s annual calendar at Holyrood.