Everything seemed to be fine with the message from the church leaders about wearing purple ribbons or clothing. But clearly they didn’t anticipate the quizzical response from the people of Ulster! And so the follow-up explanation was issued….
“The Leaders thought it a good idea that people would have some tangible sign of their opposition to what has happened over the last days. Many ideas were considered but in order that something could be done quickly the idea of wearing purple was proposed with the thinking that people could do this for themselves. They could source some purple ribbon or a purple item of clothing, perhaps a tie or a scarf, without the need for it to be purchased and supplied centrally with all the time and expense that would be incurred.We would encourage people or congregations to make their own ribbons. The ones the Church Leaders were wearing yesterday were simply a piece of 1cm wide ribbon, 12-15 cm long, made into a loop and secured with a small safety pin. Even a straight piece of ribbon simply pinned at the top would do. As such there is no ‘wear purple’ day but simply an encouragement for it to be worn for as long as people feel they want to.”
Everything in this part of the world has significance. And particularly colours! If purple is “a Lenten colour” then us reformed, non-liturgical types need to be educated. It seems like the simple proposal has fallen at the first hurdle. It is Cheltenham week after all.