A GIANT wooden cross has been suspended from York Minster’s Central Tower, marking the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday.

Used as a focal point for Lent for many years, the cross is part of the cathedral’s preparations for the most solemn period in the Christian calendar.

The six-metre-by-three-metre cross has been made from rough lengths of scaffolding by the Minster’s work’s department and was put in place yesterday.

The Reverend Canon Michael Smith, Canon Pastor at the cathedral, said: “York Minster is a big place and asks us big questions.

"It helps us explore the meaning of life as well as its many problems.

"The problem of suffering is one of these and the cross puts us at the heart of that.

"It points to new life but also doesn’t deny the suffering.”

Lent ends on the Feast of Pentecost on Sunday, May 20 when the cross will come down.