Catholic churches prepare for Hartlepool’s ‘Walk of Witness’ Good Friday procession

A SHOW OF FAITH: Last year's Walk of Witness which attracted huge crowds in Hartlepool town centre
A SHOW OF FAITH: Last year's Walk of Witness which attracted huge crowds in Hartlepool town centre

AN annual event to mark the story of the death of Jesus Christ will be told in Hartlepool tomorrow.

Parishioners from Catholic churches on the Headland, as well as other parts of town, will take part in the Walk of Witness on Good Friday.

It will involve processions from St Mary’s on the Headland, as well as St John Vianney, St Thomas More, St Joseph’s, St Cuthbert’s, St Patrick’s and St Teresa’s churches all heading towards the war memorial in Hartlepool town centre, carrying crosses.

It will culminate with a religious service at the memorial at 11.15 am on Good Friday in which ten people will play the parts of the main players in the story of Christ, such as Caesar and the disciples as well as Jesus.

Each parish chooses a young person to be a part of the reading of the Passion on the steps of the memorial.

Bernadette Malcolmson is part of the Youth Ministry which is jointly involved in the co-ordination of the event with St Joseph’s. She said: “For the first time this year, the churches are all one parish called The Parish of the Holy Family and this will be one of the first events since that has happened.”

Each year, more people are involved in the ceremony and Bernadette said: “It has gone up to around 150 or 160 people.”

She said the Walk of Witness was held to depict part of Christ’s last walk, and added it was “a strong part of what we believe in. We are trying to take a part of the walk with the Cross on his last journey.”

She encouraged people to join in with the walk and said: “We have had people from other faiths who have come along.”

This will be the fifth year in a row that the Walk of Witness has been held and the watching audience takes on the role of the crowd who would decide on the crucifixion.

The Easter period, said Bernadette, also saw churches hold a mass on Thursday to mark the last supper and a Friday service to mark the crucifixion and the Easter vigil.