200 join Archbishop for Walk of Witness

More than 200 people joined the Archbishop of Wales on a two-mile “walk of witness” though the streets of Barry on Good Friday (April 6) to mark Christ’s journey to the cross.

People from all churches in the town took part in the walk which was based on the “stations of the cross” devotion and were joined by shoppers and onlookers. They carried a 10ft wooden cross and stopped at six stations for a short address from the Archbishop, Dr Barry Morgan, as well as Bible readings, prayers and hymns. The mayors of both Barry and the Vale of Glamorgan also joined in, as well as local AMs.

The walk began at Parade Gardens at 12 noon and ended at the Garden of Remembrance at New Jerusalem Church at 2.15pm. There were four stops on the way – at the railway station, outside the One Stop store in Broad Street, the forecourt of AG Adams funeral home and King’s Square.

Organiser, Fr Robert Parrish, Rector of Merthyr Dyfan parish, said he was delighted so many people braved the chilly weather to take the Good Friday message out onto the streets of Barry.

He said, “Many people today have little idea what Christians commemorate on Good Friday. For them it is ‘Easter’ Friday, the beginning of a bank holiday weekend. For that reason Christians of all traditions in Barry came together to share the story of the death and resurrection of Jesus.

“The walk is based on the stations of the cross devotion, familiar to ancient and modern pilgrims to the Holy Land. Jesus encounters various characters on the way of the cross and on the walk we’re invited to have our own encounter with Christ.”

Archbishop Barry said, “This has been a great occasion for bringing all the different churches in Barry together. We have walked together, talked together and stood as witnesses together of God’s love for us all, demonstrated by the death of Christ and His resurrection.”

Stop one, at 12 midday, saw the first act of worship at Parade Gardens. Coastlands church provided the guitar accompaniment and gave prayers and readings commemorating Judas’ betrayal of Jesus.

The cross, made by Barry-based Cardiff & Vale College students, was then carried along Broad Street to Barry Railway station car park where the Methodists read ‘Pilate condemns Jesus’ and gave prayers.

The One Stop store, in Broad Street, was the third station – Simon of Cyrene takes up the cross – with the Baptists reading prayers.

AG Adam’s funeral home was the fourth station for ‘Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem’ with the Roman Catholics responsible for readings and prayers.

Station five was King Square, and the library for ‘Jesus dies on the cross’. The Salvationists conducted the readings and prayers while their brass band played the hymn.

Finally, the sixth station – in the Garden of Remembrance at the New Jerusalem church – witnessed ‘Jesus is buried by Joseph and Nicodemus’. The New Jerusalem congregation gave readings and prayers.

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