A Morpeth church this Easter decided to say it with flowers.
The parish priest at St Robert’s in Oldgate, Father Lawrence Jones, wanted to highlight the importance of Easter for Christians and proclaim the resurrection in a visible way.
Parishioners took up the challenge by erecting a floral Easter cross to symbolise the new life that emerges from the death of Jesus.
In addition, they erected an outdoor Easter scene in the display box that is used for the Christmas crib. It contains the empty tomb, the risen Jesus, the Roman centurion, the angel and the women who came to the tomb and to whom Jesus appeared – corresponding with the resurrection account in St Matthew’s Gospel.
Father Lawrence said: “We celebrated Christmas by erecting an outdoor crib to mark the birth of Jesus as well as the traditional Christmas tree and I felt that we should do something similar for Easter.
“The outdoor display came as a surprise to most people who came to church on Easter Sunday and I really believe that it lifted everyone’s spirits and enhanced the joy of our celebration in church.
“The church was packed for our three Easter services and it was wonderful to see so many families and children. The children were particularly delighted to receive a little cream egg each and they were fascinated by the display – it all helped to convey the true significance of Easter.
“The public display is also a witness to everyone who passes by on Oldgate. I have been pleased to see lots of people stop and look at it and I hope that it may prompt those who are not particularly religious to think about the unique claims of Christianity.”
In Ponteland, churchgoers of all denominations united for the traditional Good Friday ceremony on Coates Green.
There was a large turnout of residents of all ages once again for the Raising of the Cross.
The Choir of St Mary the Virgin Church were present along with clergy from all of the Ponteland churches – Peter Barham and Christine Brown (St Mary’s Church), Joan Ross (Ponteland United Reformed Church), Bob Cooper (Ponteland Methodist Church) and Seamus O’Kane (St Matthew’s RC Church).
A range of other events and activities took place during the Easter weekend. In Carlisle Park on Monday, town councillors did the traditional handing out of Easter oranges and children could enjoy the Easter games organised by Morpeth Round Table.
On Saturday in Sanderson Arcade, there was an egg hunt, bonnet parade, stilt walkers and a craft workshop and Capital FM were at the shopping centre with a special competition.
The Arcade team also did some fund-raising on the day to increase the total for its current designated charity – The Sick Children’s Trust.