Faithful band of pilgrims at Easter
Great Yarmouth Minster is blessed with a set of Stations of the Cross paintings set in our town
Created by John Dashwood, the images are beautiful and harrowing all at the same time. Last year we puzzled about how to hold our usual Stations of the Cross worship in our three churches – the Minster, St Paul’s, and St Mary’s – without moving around or singing, since both are key features! Once again, the pandemic forced us to think creatively and we planned a “Holy Week Pilgrimage’, using the Dashwood paintings as inspiration. Starting at St Mary’s in Southtown, we wove our way through the town, stopping on the way to read scripture and pray at each station – sometimes at the places depicted in the paintings. We walked via the Minster and ended up at St Paul’s in Newtown.
To accompany the walk, we had a booklet, with reflections and pictures of all the stations, as well as suggestions of other resources people might like to look at. We organised group walks – one long and one short, but we also made the booklet available online – this was during the ‘rule of six’. This meant that people could pray the Stations in their own way, time and place, moving around the town, or from their own homes. On the day, we were small and faithful bands of pilgrims, but it was no less meaningful a pilgrimage for that. We really felt that sense of connection with our town in those paintings of Christ’s passion, rooted in the streets and buildings so familiar to us. We expanded on that tradition we had in our churches of moving around the stations and as we travelled, we were reminded that the journey is as important as the destination.
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