100 gather for Good Friday parade

page 2 lead, church pics attached, fish shop ones on email

SCORES of church-goers paraded through Hartlepool and gathered for a morning service to mark Good Friday.

Roman Catholics paraded with wooden crosses from their churches to the War Memorial, in Victory Square.

Around 100 people from St Mary’s church, St John Vianney, St Thomas More, St Joseph’s, St Cuthbert’s, St Patrick’s and St Teresa’s, all in Hartlepool, set off from their respective churches yesterday morning and gathered at the memorial for readings and prayer.

A number of the churches involved in the activity even made their own wooden crosses which they carried during the parade.

The event was organised by youngsters in the town as part of an initiative to encourage them to take on leadership roles.

It was the first time it had taken place in the town, but Jeremy Cain, Hartlepool Pastoral area youth ministry co-ordinator, said he had high hopes it can happen again in the future.

Mr Cain told the Mail: “It was a very good morning.

“We have a group of young people in the town who were confirmed a couple of years ago and they have been trying to arrange a number of events in the town.

“They helped with the organisation of the event yesterday and did a fantastic job.

“It wasn’t just the youngsters who took part, everyone was invited along but it happened because of them.

“It’s great for the church communities to have the youngsters and the adults come together like that.

“It was most certainly encouraging enough to do it again next year, it would be nice to make it an annual event.”

Meanwhile, fish was flying from the friers yesterday as people took part in another Good Friday tradition.

Staff in fish shops throughout the town worked non-stop from opening the doors as people flocked to their nearest chippy.

The queue was constantly out of the door for nearly three hours at Foster’s Fish Grill, in Oxford Road, Hartlepool.

Janet Pattison, the manageress, said the staff were “ran off their feet.”

She said: “It was a very busy dinner time.

“As soon as we opened the door there were people waiting to get in and it never really quietened down.

“But as non-stop as we were, I don’t think it was quite as busy as last year.

The Fens Fish Grill, in Catcote Road, Hartlepool, sold out of fish at around 6pm after a constant queue throughout the day.