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You are here:Home / News / News 2021 / Good Friday Witness
England - Olton, Apr 07, 2021

Good Friday Witness

Olton, Friday 2 April - Always on this day the different Christian churches of Olton gather for a procession of witness through the town.

Good Friday Witness

But this year the Pandemic rules made this impossible. So Fr. Biju Anthony Panthalukkaran SCJ suggested that the other churches join with our Children’s Way of the Cross that we were planning as a trail around the Friary Grounds.

So with help from St. Margaret’s Anglican Church and Olton Baptist Church and the United Reform Church we had a most unusual Way of the Cross around our grounds from 9.30 am to 12.30.

Sarah Wood and Siobhan White, two of our catechists were the main organisers, liaising with Fr Austin Hughes SCJ, while an online booking system ensured that ‘distance rules’ were obeyed. Family groups were sent around in ‘bubbles’ over the 45 minute trail at 5 minute intervals, with something for the children to collect at each station… a drop of blood from Gethsemane… a coin from Judas… a nail from Calvary, etc. With participation from the different Olton churches each station had a unique style. Some had characters from the road to calvary with a story to tell; others were silent & meditative. Over the three hours more than 200 people prayed the way of the cross like this… a beautiful way to begin Good Friday with other Christian communities. An unexpected bonus was the gift to us from Olton Baptist Church of 40 miniature wooden crosses, left over from their Simon-of-Cyrene station. And since the pandemic rules do not allow us all to venerate the same cross at our 3.00 pm liturgy we were able to hand these round to parishioners who had not remembered to bring their own cross for individual veneration.

One of the favourite hymns which all our Christian churches sing on Good Friday in England is “My Song is love unknown… My saviour’s love to me… Love to the loveless shown that they might lovely be.” It was written by Samuel Crossman a 17th century Evangelical Preacher and today sung to a tune by John Ireland a 20th Century musician who identified as pagan. God brings us together in strange ways!

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