Gentle but persistent rain delayed the start of the Churches Together Walk of Witness on Good Friday. We gathered in the Methodist church in Church Square, to sing an Easter hymn, with Martin Wimbush as the Evangelist leading an enactment of the interrogation of Jesus by Pontius Pilate. Then Canon Richard Orchard announced that the rain appeared to be easing and asked those assembled “who is for walking, but only as far as the Baptist Church” another place of refuge from the weather. This found almost universal favour and a volunteer agreed to shoulder the cross.
The group set out raggedly through St Mary’s churchyard to the North door, where the cross and the big base drum were collected. Then the procession set off in orderly fashion down Lion Street behind Nizam Mohammed, a leader of the Rye street pastors, carrying the cross, and Peter Challans of Playden sounding a single solemn note on the drum. Many people watched and listened along the way, despite the rain.
After arriving at the Baptist church, the walking service concluded with more readings, prayers and hymns. Afterwards Canon Orchard said that the original destination of Strand Quay “would have been a step too far” in the unremitting rain.
Photo: Kenneth Bird