THE Easter story was played out on the streets of Swadlincote today, as churches in the area clubbed together to mark Good Friday.
Actors playing Jesus and Simon of Cyrene carried the cross from Hill Street Baptist Church through the roads and up towards the Delph, where he was ‘crucified’ in front of a reverent crowd, in this moving recreation of the central story of the Christian faith.
But for the first time this year, the walk of witness had a happy ending, as the churches chose to depict the resurrection, and spread the word that they believe the son of God has risen.
Reverend Jane Webb, from the baptist church, told the Mail: “Rather than having him come down off the cross dead, as it were, we wanted people who are not familiar with the story of Easter to understand that Good Friday is not the end.
“We want everyone to know we worship a risen saint.”
During the service, which includes hymns and readings about the crucifixion, the sound of the nails hammering into the cross is heard.
“It’s always very moving,” Reverend Webb said.
Around 300 people from at least a dozen churches turned out for the witness, with members of the public also getting involved.
And hundreds more people turned out to take part in the Good Friday march which was taking place in Burton.
The congregation from churches around the town made their way to the war memorial on Lichfield Street for a service in a parade heralded with banners and balloons. People taking part were also given Easter eggs.
Daryl Williams, church leader for Riverside Church, on High Street in Burton, said: “It’s a demonstration of our beliefs. We believe that Jesus died and rose again. We wanted to let people know there is some good news in a town where sometimes there is some not very good news.”
Both services were attended by people of all denominations and members of the public.
“It’s a public witness to the people who use our churches, as well,” the Reverend Webb said.