Story of the Crucifixion takes to streets of Shrewsbury
The story of Jesus on the Cross was played out on the streets of Shrewsbury yesterday.
Hundreds gathered to watch as the ancient tradition of the The Passion of Christ moved from outside St Mary's Church in the town centre, down Pride Hill and into the Square.
It was organised by the Churches Together in Shrewsbury group and the town's Street Pastors.
Shrewsbury has a long tradition of hosting 'Mystery Plays' - something that Good Friday's event is now reviving in a small way.
Members of the two Christian groups took on the roles of those involved in the Crucifixion of Jesus, who was played by Ryan Kouroukis.
One of those involved in the play was Todd Cataldo, lay minister of Holy Trinity Church in Belle Vue. His wife took on the role of Mary.
"This was something that the former Bishop of Shrewsbury Mark Rylands, was keen to bring to Shrewsbury and we are now carrying it on," he said.
"We want to go out into the community and it is good to see the public watching what is happening today.
A drummer sounded a hollow beat as a procession portraying Roman soldiers taking Jesus to be crucified, with his followers behind, made its way down the pedestrianised Pride Hill.
Shoppers stopped to watch, many taking photos and filming the slow procession.
Crowds gathered in the Square where the act of putting Jesus on a cross, wearing his crown of thorns, was observed in silence.
Reverend Carole Marsden from Shrewsbury United Reformed Church said it had been a very moving passion play and thanked everyone who had taken part.
Passion Plays – biblical dramas portraying the Easter story – depict the events of Jesus Christ’s trial, death and resurrection.
In England they were popular in the Middle Ages and known as Mystery Plays, which were large-scale productions.
The most famous were in York, Coventry and Chester but there was also known to be one that took place in Shrewsbury.
Shrewsbury’s Street Pastors had their mobile headquarters, a vehicle known as the “The Donkey”, in the Square for the Good Friday event.
The 37 street pastor volunteers patrol the town every Saturday night and some other nights to help, care for and listen to those in difficulty.
They hand out water and flip flops to revellers.