Good Friday 22 nd April 2011
Good Friday Walk of Witness
including Churches Together in Ewell
This year, Churches Together in Epsom were joined by representatives from Churches Together in Ewell to give joint witness to the annual celebration of the death of Jesus Christ, the Son of God on Good Friday. The procession from the Church Street car park on Good Friday coincided with the rebuilding of the railway bridge over the entrance to Hook Road and traffic into the High Street was extremely light as a consequence.
John Padwick, Chair of Churches Together in Epsom welcomed a slightly larger gathering than usual at the far end of the Marketplace. Andrew Smith led worship starting with Thomas Chisholm’s hymn “Great is thy Faithfulness” reminding us of God’s pardon for sin, His enduring peace and guiding and encouraging presence with us.
Rev Stuart Thomas, the Rural Dean, read the very closing section of the Passion narrative in Matthew’s gospel, culminating in earthquake and rocks being split apart generating an atmosphere of tremendous fear. “Truly, this was the Son of God” was the testimony of the centurion and those in charge of the execution.
In answer to the question “Why did God allow it to happen?”, Nick Oborski of Epsom Methodist Church used a visual aid of a puppet whose movements were entirely controlled by strings in the hands of the puppeteer. God had not chosen this scenario for us but exercises a sovereignty which still allows people freedom to make choices.
The heavy wooden cross was then raised and secured in an upright position as a short time of silence was kept. With the cross in front of us, Isaac Watts’ hymn “When I survey” spoke of the wonder of the cross. Its power to break through our false pride enables us to count our richest gain as but loss. And outlined the demands incumbent on the amazing love which enabled Jesus so to die for us.
Prayers led by Ruth Foxcroft and Martyn Holloway-Neville of St Martin’s were followed by the Graham Kendrick’s modern hymn “The Servant King”. Learning to be servants and a daily offering of our lives to God in worship were the appropriate response to Christ’s humble and sacrificial life.
Rev Hazel Yu of the Chinese congregation of Epsom Methodist Church gave the final Blessing
Report with thanks to Chris Donahue
Photographs below with thanks to Yan Tan
The Surrey Police, who were evident in numbers and controlled the traffic at the various crossings and ensured that the walk of witness had a right of way, so a big thank you to the Force.
Prayers in the car park Rev. Michael Preston - St Barnabas Church, Epsom
The service in the Market Place about 10.30 am
Welcome John Padwick - Chairman of Churches Together in Epsom
The hymns chosen:-
Great is thy Faithfulness , When I survey, The Servant King
Proceeded along the High Street to the Market Place, the stewards in conjunction
with the Surrey Police.
Blessing Rev. Hazel Yu - Epsom Methodist Church
After the service, refreshments were available at Epsom Methodist Church
Proceeds will be given to Christian Aid