Local Easter Traditions

On Good Friday I was really pleased to be able to join members of the various local churches around North Shields for the annual Walk of Witness event.

I tend to think of myself as quite a future-oriented person. I’m into new technology and spend a lot of time thinking about the kind of world our children will inherit from us. However, I also believe that it’s really important to have strong roots into the past. Understanding where we’ve come from helps us to make good choices about where we go next. That’s why the traditional events of the Easter weekend are so important.

Much of what the local churches of North Shields do goes unseen. And I’m not just referring to the worship and prayer that takes place in their buildings every Sunday. Every day of the week members of local churches are involved in all sorts of activities and groups that create a sense of community and support people who are vulnerable and in need. The Good Friday event in Northumberland Square is one time during the year when their presence is made public. I counted around 100 people present this year, which was a great turnout.

I was pleased that our local MP, Sir Alan Campbell, was present at the event, and that in his remarks he highlighted the great work of the local churches all year round. It was also very poignant that our elected mayor Dame Norma Redfearn joined in with the scripture readings, as these ancient texts answer the question of why the churches act in the way they do. And why is that? It’s because the Easter story – the story of Christ’s crucifixion – confronts the pain, injustice and tragedy that we all experience as we journey through life. The irony of “Good” Friday is that it is a day of darkness. But the Easter story is also a story of hope.

Today, on Easter Sunday, the day that Christ’s resurrection is remembered, churches around the town are celebrating a new dawn breaking. Today is when the darkness is pierced by light and sadness becomes happiness. Today the world is full of new possibilities again!

Happy Easter.

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Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

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