From Wednesday 6 March, there will be a piece of artwork hanging behind Manchester Cathedral’s High Altar which has been specially created for the Cathedral’s Ash Wednesday service at 5.30pm.

 Remember is from an original painting in watercolour by the Cathedral’s Artist-in-Residence, Stephen Raw. For the previous two years, while attending the Ash Wednesday services, he was struck by the constant repetition of the words ‘Remember thou art dust and to dust thou shalt return’ which are said to each participant as they come forward to have the sign of the cross made in ashes on their foreheads.

As a textual artist, Stephen is interested in what happens when spoken, fleeting language becomes visible and fixed. His hope in making this artwork is that the experience of hearing the words and seeing them will have more of a creative effect on participants than if the words were only spoken or only seen.

As part of this artwork, the Cathedral will have an ‘ashing station’ outside the Lady Chapel, where people will be able to ash themselves throughout the Lenten season.

In addition to Remember, two further art installations will be on display during Lent.

Manchester based photographer Simon Bray will be exhibiting part of his Loved&Lost exhibition. Loved&Lost is a documentary project that invites participants to explore their experience of loss. Each participant is asked to find a photograph of themselves with their lost loved one. They then return to the location of the original photograph to replicate the image and record an interview. You can find out more at

Philip Wharton’s ‘Forsaken,’ was much appreciated when it was exhibited during Lent 2018, and returns by popular request. As part of a crucifix, it holds before us the central message of Lent and Easter: ‘Jesus loved us and gave his life for us.’

Remember will be on display until 18 April.

Loved&Lost will be on display until 27 April.

Forsaken will be on display until 22 April.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here