VIDEO: Crowds flock to Easter readings

DOZENS of worshippers gathered at a war memorial to mark Good Friday.

Catholic congregations from across Hartlepool walked from their churches to Victory Square as part of Easter celebrations.

MORNING WORSHIP: Good Friday's service

MORNING WORSHIP: Good Friday's service

They carried wooden crosses from each of the town’s seven parishes to the site where young people read to them The Passion from the Gospel of Mark.

The sun shone down as around 60 people listened to and took part in the readings on one of the most important dates in the Christian diary.

It was the third year the event, called the Walk of Witness, has been held in the town.

Jeremy Cain, youth ministry co-ordinator for the Catholic Church, in Hartlepool, said: “We call it The Walk of Witness and it is about us doing something to help us to think about the meaning of Good Friday and being out in the open so other people can see what we are doing.

“We want people to think about Easter and what Good Friday means. By walking through the streets people see us and know what is happening.

“It started as an event for the young people in the town, but it has now grown.

“The meaning of Easter has been forgotten a bit so we want to give a bit of presence to what it means to us.

“We also have to say a big thank you to Hartlepool Borough Council for letting us meet in the square.”

A giant cross had also been made by the Family Fun Club, based at St Cuthbert’s Church, depicting what Good Friday is about.

On the cross were newspaper cuttings of tragedies and crimes, words of hate and sadness and fists to show the bad that takes place in the world and how Jesus died to take it away.

Mr Cain added: “They do a variety of activities there and this was one of their projects.

“We believe Jesus Christ took the bad stuff away and this is to show that.

“They really got into the spirit of it and were very enthusiastic.

“We thought we’d bring it along as we think it really gets to the point.”

The seven parishes which took part were St Mary’s, St Joseph’s, St John Vianney, St Thomas More, St Cuthbert’s, St Theresa’s and St Patrick’s. Each had made their own cross with various styles, from a traditional cross to one with colourful religious writing.