KINGSWINFORD church members hit the streets on Ash Wednesday offering to say a prayer for the people they met.

Archdeacon of Dudley, Nikki Groarke, joined clergy and lay people in Kingswinford to ask members of the public for their prayer requests, which were written on prayer cards and prayed at Ash Wednesday services.

The Bishop of Worcester, Dr John Inge, who was out collecting prayers in Stourport as part of the ‘Pray One for Me’ initiative, said: “Each Ash Wednesday for the last five years we have been out on the streets of the diocese offering to pray for individuals and we’ve always found that people have really appreciated somebody taking the time and interest to pray for them and any problems or concerns that they’re currently experiencing.

"Ash Wednesday marks the start of Lent, which is an important time in the Christian calendar and it’s a good time to focus on the difference that prayer can make.”

The national ‘Pray One for Me' initiative originated in the Diocese of Worcester after Bishop John collected prayers outside the Job Centre in Redditch on Ash Wednesday in 2009 to help those most badly affected by the economic downturn.

Since 2010 many bishops in the Church of England have collected prayer requests in towns and cities across the country. The Church of England also has a website on which anyone can post prayer requests and know they will be prayed.