PICTURES: Rain doesn’t deter hundreds from joining Hartlepool Walk of Witness

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GOOD Friday crowds gathered to watch a religious service which united Hartlepool’s seven Catholic churches to symbolise the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

More than 120 people attended the Walk of Witness, marching through the town carrying crosses, finally meeting at the war memorial, in Victoria Road.

WITNESS WALK: Members of St Joseph's Church around the cross which they carried to the war memorial during the Walk of Witness.

WITNESS WALK: Members of St Joseph's Church around the cross which they carried to the war memorial during the Walk of Witness.

Due to the weather the adults and children involved then moved onto St Joseph’s Church, in St Paul’s Road, for readings about Jesus’ journey to the cross.

The event, now in its sixth year, was started by ten volunteers from the Youth Ministry Co-ordination Team to symobolise how the son of God was cruicified on Good Friday and rose again on Easter Sunday.

Bernadette Malcolmson, a member of the team, said: “We walk from all of the Catholic churches and meet at the War Memorial.

“During Eastertime in church we talk about Jesus’ journey to the cross.

WITNESS WALK: Members of St Joseph's Church carry their cross to the war memorial.

WITNESS WALK: Members of St Joseph's Church carry their cross to the war memorial.

“For this event we carry a cross from each of the churches through the streets symbolising that walk.

“In St Joseph’s Church we did what we call the ‘stations of the cross’. There are 14 stations and each one tells you a bit more about Jesus’ journey, about how he fell several times, how he was helped along the way, when he was crucified, and when he was laid in the tomb.”

She added: “It’s something we started six years ago because it’s a very visible way of displaying our faith, and at times like Easter when people are off work, they sometimes don’t understand what it’s all about.

“Often people think churches are very private, but it’s nice to be very public.

SHOULDERING BURDEN: Andrew Hutchinson carrying the cross for St John Vianney's church.

SHOULDERING BURDEN: Andrew Hutchinson carrying the cross for St John Vianney's church.

“We had a good response from members of the public.”

PREACHING TO CONVERTED: Father Michael Griffiths talks to the crowds gathered at the war memorial.

PREACHING TO CONVERTED: Father Michael Griffiths talks to the crowds gathered at the war memorial.

GOOD TURNOUT: Members of the Holy Family parish gather in St Joseph's Church to take part in the Stations of the Cross at the end of the Walk of Witness.

GOOD TURNOUT: Members of the Holy Family parish gather in St Joseph's Church to take part in the Stations of the Cross at the end of the Walk of Witness.

WALK OF WITNESS: Crosses from churches across the town standing at the foot of the war memorial.

WALK OF WITNESS: Crosses from churches across the town standing at the foot of the war memorial.

LET US PRAY: Fr Michael Griffiths leads the crowd in prayer as they gather at the war memorial.

LET US PRAY: Fr Michael Griffiths leads the crowd in prayer as they gather at the war memorial.