THE churches of Morpeth and Ponteland came together in their towns to bring the message of Easter out into the community.
The Good Friday service took on an extra special dimension this year, as representatives from the three Morpeth Anglican Parish churches, St George’s United Reformed Church, St Robert’s RC Church, Morpeth Methodist Church, New Life Christian Centre, Morpeth Baptist Church and Mitford Parish Church led the procession down from St James’s Church in Copper Chare to the Market Place.
Rev Ron Forster from St George’s URC opened the service, followed by the hymn How Great Thou Art.
This was followed by a drama from the Passion play.
The arrest scene had taken place outside St James’s Church prior to the march and so the scene was set for part two – the trial before Pilate and the crucifixion of Jesus.
The crowd joined in with the chants of ‘crucify, crucify’, and all fell silent when the drama finished with the actors kneeing at the feet of Jesus, and the cry of ‘It is finished’.
Father Lawrence from St Robert’s thanked everyone for taking part and making the event happen and the service closed with the hymn My Song is Love Unknown and some closing prayers by the Rector Robert McLean.
The Catholic Women’s League provided refreshments, while there was contemporary worship provided by musicians from the churches of Mitford and Morpeth Baptist Church.
New Life Minister Mike Willis said: “From my point of view it was brilliant that after a few months of hard work, everything came together exactly how we wanted it to.
“The weather was decent, there was a good crowd and many people came up to us and said they and their children enjoyed the service and were captivated by the play, which was great as it was our aim to engage residents of all ages.”
The Ponteland service was also well supported by all ages and it included the traditional Raising of the Cross ceremony on Coates Green on Good Friday.
Ministers from the four churches in the area – St Mary’s Church, St Matthew’s RC Church, Ponteland Methodist Church and Ponteland United Reformed Church – took part and Father Vincent Melia of St Matthew’s was also in the congregation.
Rev Peter Barham, Vicar of Ponteland, said: “It’s very much a coming together of the community and it was nice that the cross remained on the green for the whole Easter weekend.
“There was an interesting mix of sounds when we sang the hymn There is a Green Hill Far Away while the cross was being hammered and fixed into place.”
Refreshments were provided afterwards at Ponteland Methodist Church.
l In last week’s Herald, we said St Aidan’s Church in Morpeth was Morpeth Parish Church in the Easter Sunday services section when it is in fact St Mary’s Church.
We apologise for the error.