Good Friday’s Walk of Witness
“My song is love unknown” was rendered in full voice outside the church of St Anthony of Padua shortly after midday on Friday April 14, Good Friday.
Actor Martin Wimbush led the reading from St Matthew’s Gospel, with members of Churches Together taking part in the scene where Jesus is brought before the High Priest Caiaphas, for examination and sentencing.
Then, behind the rough wooden cross and an upraised banner held by three street pastors, the procession moved off to the slow solemn banging of the big drum, wielded by Peter Challans.
Along the cobbled Watchbell Street it wound its way into Church Square, then past the Town Hall down into the High Street, towards Strand Quay and finally to Station Approach, watched or ignored in equal measure by passers-by.
So was re-enacted in 2017, a happening in Jerusalem nearly two thousand years ago. The gospel of Peace on Earth seems as distant a dream now in our war-torn world as it appeared then, seemingly beyond the capability of mankind to live in harmony and to love our neighbour.
Only the inspiration remains, that and the witness to it of many millions throughout the world. Somehow, the live re-enacted pageant holds its worth, more perhaps than all the memorials set in stone to man’s inhumanity to man.