So Father Crispin, what is the history of this walk of witness?
Until about 15 years ago the Bishop and Archbishop used to lead an ecumenical Walk of Witness through the city on Good Friday, ending up at the Victoria Monument in Derby Square. It grew out of the close Anglican-Catholic relations for which we became famous and the Walk was an important focus not just for formal ecumenical relations, but also for genuine friendship.
Although the Walk disappeared as bishops came and went, we still see that public display of unity in the walk between the two cathedrals at Pentecost. And of course it also mirrors the unity seen in ecumenical events in Holy Week in parishes and districts across our diocese and the country.
Why Holy Saturday – a number of places do this on Good Friday?
When we started the Walk again in 2016 we wanted to be as outward-looking as possible. Good Friday is such a solemn day for us in Church – and often a busy one as well – but we started to think about when we could best engage with people who don’t go to Church.
Whether we like it or not, the Easter weekend is one of the big shopping periods of the year, and we wanted to take the Walk through the middle of the crowds on Church St and Lord St in the City Centre.
Why is witnessing our faith in this way so important?
Whatever faith you practise (or none), Christianity is still one of the principal narratives in our culture, but its significance is lost to many when they don’t hear it in their lives.In some families and communities where no faith is practised, you are as unlikely hear the name “Jesus Christ” as if you live in a country where Christianity is in the minority.
But the narrative is already there in our culture, and all we have to do is to look for new opportunities to tell the story: again, and again, and again…
What can people who take part expect
Come and join the walk! The Bishop and Archbishop and the leaders of other Christian Churches will gather on the Piazza at the front of the Metropolitan Cathedral at 10:45am and it will be great if as many CHristians can join us.
We shall stop at various points on the way (including Bold St, Church St and Lord St) for readings and prayers through a loud hailer. The procession is led not just by the Cross, but also by sea cadets with drums, so people know we are coming and we make impact.
We shall reach Liverpool Parish Church at about 12 noon where we shall sing a hymn and have a couple of prayers, then tea and coffee will be available. Best of all is the fact that the Walk is all downhill!
How can people get involved?
Just come along! If you would like a more active role then we are on the look-out for stewards to help keep the procession in order (some police officers also walk with us): if you are interested in being a steward then please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
But the most important thing is to spread the word and come along so that we can get as many Christians as possible on the streets, telling our City that Jesus died and rose again to bring new life to everyone.