All you need to know to join in Hartlepool’s Good Friday Walk of Witness service

Parishioners from across Hartlepool will publicly show their faith when they carry crosses through the streets this Good Friday.

Wednesday, 17th April 2019, 6:00 am
A cross is carried along Victoria Road to attend last year's Walk of Witness service held in Victory Square. Picture by Frank Reid

The Annual Walk of Witness will see members of the town’s six Catholic churches gather in Hartlepool town centre for an open air service.

More than 100 people typically attend the service in front of Hartlepool war memorial for what has become a key part of the town’s Easter celebrations.

Around 100 people attend the open air service whatever the weather.

The service is organised by the Hartlepool Youth Ministry.

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Youth ministry member Bernadette Malcolmson, who is also part of St Mary’s Church on the Headland, said: “Each church carries a cross. It is our way of witnessing our faith and that is a very visible thing in order to do that.

“If we can make somebody driving past stop and think then we have done a good job.”

Parishioners from St John Vianney, St Thomas More, St Cuthbert’s, St Patrick’s and St Joseph’s will also carry crosses to the service in Victoria Road.

A cross is carried along Victoria Road to attend the Walk of Witness held in Victory Square. Picture by Frank Reid

Bernadette added: “The churches will all be setting off at various times across the town.

“St Patrick’s and St Mary’s set off at 10am because we have the longest distance to walk.

“We arrange to gather at the war memorial for about 11am for the service.”

The service starts at 11.15am and is largely led by young people who perform readings.

Parishioners from other churches and passers by are all welcome to join in.

Bernadette added: “It’s something that very much established now after starting as an idea eight or nine years ago and we have built on it each year.

“We do it whatever the weather and it is a very much accepted part of what we do during Holy Week.”

Following the service, which lasts around half an hour, everyone is invited back to St Joseph’s Church in St Paul’s Road for refreshments and a hot cross bun.