Festivities and feasting before the fasting of Lent


Before Lent began there was fun to be had around Shrove Tuesday with pancake parties and antics across the Diocese. On the Thurnby Lodge estate, hundreds of pancakes were devoured during a party hosted by Christ Church.

“We’ve been doing this for a few years now,” explains Kath Bamford, Young People’s Worker in the parish. “It’s a free event for the community. We put it out there and people sign up. It’s for anybody in the area – not just the church – and many people come from the estate.”

This year a whopping 64 people turned up for Shrove Tuesday food and fun. “It was a brilliant turn out,” says Kath. “We gave everyone a couple of pancakes each, but by the time they were all served, people were queuing up for more,” she laughs. “They ate as many as we could cook!”

The dedicated team cooking pancakes included Vicar Paul Savage, who’d knocked a batch up at home. In true party style, when stomachs had settled, there were pancake races for all ages.

Kath says: “We included a message and a proclamation for why we were doing this. We’re reaching out to the community. People who come to church Sunday by Sunday, that’s great, but we want everyone to hear about the gospel and we want to share God’s love with them – especially on this estate.”

And it seems that message was received, loud and clear, if the response is anything to go by.

Sophie, a mum of two children, said: “Pantastic! A fantastic way to celebrate the beginning of Lent. We are now ready to re-think and to try something new and give up something bad.”

Jaddine, a mum of three, said: “It was the first time we had ever been to one so wasn’t sure what to expect. Both my eldest children and myself really enjoyed it. There was an amazing atmosphere and everyone was so kind and polite. It made a perfect ending to pancake day.”

Catherine, a mum of five, said: “It was fun, family time.” And Alex, aged five, said: “It was fantastic!”

Carys is a young church leader, volunteering with children. She said “It was so much fun and family friendly – and we learnt about Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday.”

Katie, also a mum of a large family, said: “It was really good and a fun, relaxed way for children to learn about the meaning of Ash Wednesday and Easter.”

Elsewhere in the Diocese, Shrove Tuesday was marked in a variety of fun and meaningful ways:

The church bells were rung at St Catherine’s Church in Burbage, reviving a Shrove Tuesday tradition from ‘the olden days’.

During the morning, the reception class of Burbage C of E Infants School also visited the church for pancake races.

There were pancake races, a flipping competition and board games galore at St Thomas the Apostle Church in South Wigston last Saturday.

Plenty of pancakes, with a variety of delicious toppings, were served to friends of the church, including Messy Church families and the wider community.

Donations, plus a raffle raised an impressive £379 for Headway – a brain injury association and charity close to the hearts of the church family.

St Peter’s Church in Oadby also held a Saturday morning treat in the shape of pancakes and drinks, with proceeds going to church restoration funds; while St Chad’s in Leicester enjoyed a ‘Messy Pancakes’ session with people bringing their favourite fillings for ultimate pancake indulgence.

Over in Kirby Muxloe, St Bartholomew’s Church held a ‘Big Pancake Party’ and supported a national campaign run by the Church Urban Fund (CUF) to stand up to food poverty.

The party was very well supported by the community with many people attending, and raised more than £140 for the CUF.

A fantastic evening was had by all at St Denys Church in Evington, where they enjoyed an alternative to pancakes and feasted on fish and chips, and had a beetle drive. They were also joined by the local Air Scouts.

Rebecca Castle got in touch with us on Facebook to share what the church communities in Earl Shilton had been up to in celebration of Shrove Tuesday:

“We had fun in Earl Shilton this morning giving out nearly 300 Pancakes,” she said. “We joined with our friends from Street Pastors, the Methodist Church, the Baptist Church and the Catholic Church to spread some of God’s love. We had great fun jumping onto buses, too!”

At St Peter’s Highfield, the Revd Jonathan Surridge cooked pancakes for everyone in church after Mass.

It seems no-one was exempt from Shrove Tuesday tom-foolery. Proceedings even stopped during the Bishop’s Council at Launde Abbey for an impromptu pancake relay race.


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