Good Friday Walk of Witness

Walk of witness - St HughFor the Walk of Witness I had been chosen as one of the marshals, something I have never done. In fact for myself the walk is new, this being only the second year I have attended. Yet I would not now be without this chance to publicly declare my faith. This year’s walk started at St Hugh’s. Standing together in the car park, the marshals drifted into a group, nodding at those arriving in hi-vis jackets in welcome. There is no real need for formal procedure, people gathered, hugging in welcome or with a friendly smile and soon the car park was full.

With a call to the gathering crowd we started with our first reading, and standing in the sunlight the clear power of those moments 2000 years ago comes across. Everyone listens; it’s as if the world stops for a few minutes. A volunteer then gathers up the cross and in silence the assembled crowd start to file in behind it, while the marshals spread out across the path edge to keep traffic and witnesses apart. There is no sound; people work as though one body through gesture and gentle looks, helping everyone old and young to follow the cross.

Walk of witness at the Baptist ChurchOn to the second reading, right in the middle of the village bemused looks from some waiting at the bus stop, interest from others driving past, I think solely through the power of speaking in public. We have got so used to our radios and the internet that the town crier and public spectacle is a thing of the past or for special occasions. Yet 2000 years ago they so surely knew and experienced the power of public witness and spectacle. Following the cross through the village the story unfolds in the third reading outside the Methodist Church as we all crowd in, trying to hear, before moving on to the Baptist Church, an even tighter squeeze, before finally setting off for our last stop, reading and service and Holy Trinity,

Arriving at HTKThe readings done, the walk complete, no sound as we had gone, no witnesses lost – in fact a few picked up as we travelled – all followed the cross and one another into the Church for a packed service. So many people that we needed extra chairs, to sing praise to the Lord and hear again that story of Easter.

For those on the walk you will know the power of being there, for those reading this – next year come and join us and experience this wonderful opportunity to feel His presence and witness for Him.

Our Theme for 2017

‘‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

Matthew 25:40