Watch slideshow of pictures as Hartlepool marks Good Friday with Walk of Witness

Churchgoers demonstrated their faith by carrying crosses through the streets of Hartlepool to an open air Good Friday service.

Friday, 30th March 2018, 2:59 pm
Updated Friday, 30th March 2018, 3:05 pm
Worshippers walk through Hartlepool town centre on Good Friday.
Worshippers walk through Hartlepool town centre on Good Friday.

The annual Walk of Witness was once again well supported by the town’s six Catholic Churches despite the rather cold and wet weather.

Parishioners walked from their respective churches carrying crucifixes as a public demonstration of their faith to the war memorial in Victoria Road.

Worshippers walk through Hartlepool town centre on Good Friday.

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The service was led by Father Michael Griffiths, of St Joseph’s Church, with children and young people giving readings from the steps of the war memorial.

It is organised every year by the Hartlepool Youth Ministry.

Co-ordinator Ric Slatter said: “It is really important for all Christians not just to celebrate in the four walls of our own church but to come out and let people know.

“People were beeping their horns as we went by with the crosses and we have probably given out 50 hot cross buns.”

Worshippers walk through Hartlepool town centre on Good Friday.

Ric was pleased with the turnout which included families and people of all ages.

He added: “On actual Good Friday the skies opened and there was an eclipse so we did a bit better than that.

“It shows the importance of the event that people come out no matter what the weather is.”

The Holy Family Catholic parish in Hartlepool includes St Joseph’s Church, St Mary’s, St John Vianney, St Patrick’s, St Cuthbert’s and St Thomas More.

Bernadette Malcolmson, secretary of the youth ministry, was part of a group that walked the furthest from St Mary’s Church on the headland, just over two miles away.

She said: “As Catholics and Christians we are called not just to live the gospel by living our own lives but to share it with others.

"Carrying a cross around the middle of the town is a very public witness to our faith. People will stop and ask where you are going or why we are doing it so it gives us the chance to share our faith with other people as well.”

St Joseph’s Church parishioner Ged Hall said the annual service was an important part of the real meaning of Easter.

He said: “I think we have to witness our faith at the moment, hence why I am here.”

After the open air service, people made their way to St Joseph’s Church, in St Paul’s Road, for refreshments.