Scottish politicians and parliament staff turned out for the blessing and distribution of ashes at Holyrood this morning.

Archbishop Leo Cushley led the Ash Wednesday service at the Scottish Parliament, sponsored by Elaine Smith MSP and supported by Anthony Horan, The Parliamentary Officer for the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland.

Speaking about Lent, Archbishop Cushley told those present: "We take to heart what our Lord says in the Gospel passage today (Matthew 6: 1-6, 16-18), that this is not about public actions, this is really about private actions and intentions.

"This is about grasping the nettle and admitting to ourselves that we can do better, that we are often not the people we would like to be. With God's goodness and grace to accompany us, we will be better people at the end of these 40 days."

MSPs Elaine Smith and Mike Rumbles were the readers at the service, and they received their ashes along with fellow politicians Alex Rowley, Clare Adamson, Michael Matheson, Roseanna Cunningham, Pauline McNeill, Neil Findlay and Donald Cameron and Mairi Gougeon.

Archbishop Cushley was later the principal celebrant for Mass at St Mary's Cathedral in Edinburgh.