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Churches Together to mark Good Friday in Bishop's Stortford

Bishop's Stortford's Christian community will mark Easter with an alternative Good Friday event.

The town's traditional 20-minute Walk of Witness – a sombre parade to reflect on the Crucifixion, before the celebrations of Easter Sunday – cannot take place this year.

Instead, after the Good Friday 10am service at the United Reformed Church in Water Lane, worshippers will make their way through the town centre, carrying palm leaf crosses, to the Methodist Church in South Street for a blessing, followed by hot cross buns, tea and coffee in its Oasis lounge.

Water Lane United Reformed Church. Pic: Vikki Lince
Water Lane United Reformed Church. Pic: Vikki Lince

Churches Together Bishop's Stortford (CTBS), which usually organises the Walk of Witness, was unable to close the road for the parade after Hertfordshire police withdrew their agreement to support such events because of staff availability.

Pippa Roy-Chowdhury, the co-ordinator of Bishop's Stortford & Sawbridgeworth Street Pastors, said that Churches Together had hoped to handle the road closures, but without clearance from Hertfordshire County Council's highways department and East Herts Council's safety advisory group, they were unable to proceed.

She said: "In fact, these two groups have ignored all correspondence and to this day have not responded to the request.

Bishop's Stortford Methodist Church in Water Lane. Pic: Vikki Lince
Bishop's Stortford Methodist Church in Water Lane. Pic: Vikki Lince

"However, never to give up, Churches Together Bishop's Stortford have come up with plan B and will mark the occasion in a different way.

"Bishop's Stortford and Sawbridgeworth Street Pastors will marshal the route to keep everyone moving along safely, without the need for road closures.

"This will still be a wonderful event, giving Christians from all denominations in our town the opportunity to make their faith visible on the streets.

"Do look out for them on Good Friday – or maybe even join them! Everyone welcome."

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