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Bishop of Croydon to address crowds at Easter Walk of Witness

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THE annual Easter procession through Croydon re-enacting the crucifixion of Jesus will feature the town's bishop addressing the crowd for the first time ever.

The year will be the sixteenth annual "Walk of Witness" event on Good Friday, co-ordinated by all the different church denominations in the borough.

Processions from the United Reformed Church in Addiscombe Grove, the corner of Nottingham Road and Brighton Road, and St. Michael's Church in Poplar Walk, will begin simultaneously at 10.30am and meet at the Whitgift Almshouses in George Street, where the crucifixion will be re-enacted.

A fourth procession will see Jesus, played by local gospel rapper and teacher Frances Beke, carry the cross from outside Marks and Spencer in West Croydon, followed by the Bishop of Croydon, the Rt Rev Jonathan Clark.

Toni Suffolk, who organises the event, said: "This year will be quite special because the bishop is giving an address for the first time. He seems to be much more involved with the community, which is great.

"We were also saved, like last year, by a anonymous donor who sent us funds about six weeks ago, so we're very grateful."

Choirs will begin singing at 10.15am at the Whitgift Almshouses, and then accompany the crucifixion re-enactment when the processions arrive in the centre of town.

Bishop of Croydon the Rt Rev Jonathan Clark shares his Easter message with Advertiser readers... IT ALWAYS strikes me as odd that some people start saying 'happy Easter' after the service on Good Friday. As if that was that. In one sense, of course, they're right: Christ, by giving himself to the death of the cross, accomplished our salvation. But when St Paul preached the gospel in his early ministry, he did not preach only Christ crucified, but also 'Jesus and the resurrection' – to the extent that some people thought 'Anastasis' – or 'resurrection' in Greek – was another god along with Jesus. Christ's resurrection is the sign of God's action in the world – the sign of the life that is also given to us all. When Paul says: "If for this life only we have hoped in Christ", we are, of all people, meaning that Christianity is only worthwhile if there is the promise of heaven at the end of it: as if it were a pretty miserable thing to live it now, and only worth it for the payoff at the end. It is equally true that Christian life is only worthwhile here and now if the resurrection is a real event. The resurrection opens up the possibility of the kingdom of God coming, which is something both now and not yet: something of which we already have the first fruits, but which we do not yet possess completely. If there is no resurrection, it is not only the future age which becomes a false hope, but even the hope we have now for the coming of God's kingdom on earth. The resurrection sets us free to live abundant, joyful lives. That's pretty important right now. The mood of our society has swung from neurotic over-consumption, a sort of materialist hysteria, to melancholic austerity – an equally materialist depression. It is always the task of the church to witness to a different vision by living differently. An important part of that now is for us to remember the joy of resurrection – even while we're angry at the cuts in provision for the poorest, or anxious about our own jobs or our children's future. Underneath all that lies the love of God, the joy of the resurrection, the hope of the kingdom.

Bishop of Croydon to address crowds at Easter Walk of Witness


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