Mob bay for blood at Good Friday crucifixion reenactment in Epsom

Sutton Guardian: Roman soldiers escort Jesus to the place of execution Roman soldiers escort Jesus to the place of execution

Hundreds of churchgoers took to Epsom’s streets on Good Friday as part of a rowdy re-enactment of Jesus’s trial, crucifixion and resurrection.

To shouts of "crucify him, crucify him", Jesus was roped to a cross and followed from Dulshot Green and along the high street to the place of execution execution in the Market Square.

Rev Sue Curtis, chair of Churches Together in Epsom planned, produced and directed the event called the Walk of Witness.

She said: "The spectators became the crowd, not a polite Epsom group, but a mob who wanted Jesus’ blood.

"They called for crucifixion as a response to statements of Jesus that showed a bias to the poor and called for sacrifice.

"Mary Magdalene’s song written by Lloyd Weber I don’t know how to love him summed up the tenuous hope that those who knew him must have felt when they learned of the resurrection."

The performance also included music from Song Squad, a youth choir from Christ Church in Epsom Common.

Jesus was played by Christ Church curate Rev Julian McAllen.

Father Simon Hall, assistant priest at St Joseph’s Church, said the format had changed over the last few years and become more dramatised, attracting more people.

He added: "I have come to pray, support and to witness this wonderful day in which we celebrate the death of our Saviour who gave his life for humanity.

"Easter reminds people that God exists, God loves them and today, Good Friday, reminds them that God does care.

"Whatever sufferings people have, whatever they carry in their hearts, on their shoulders, in their families, this is to remind them that God cares."

Craig Donovan, who played Judas, said the presentation was "more dynamic" than in previous years.

He said: "There were some new scenes and we extended certain bits.

"Hopefully everyone enjoyed themselves. It was a different experience."

Rosalind Lawrence, parochial church council member at St Barnabas, said: "It really gave you a good feel. There were more people here today - it was even better than last year.

"You get to know people from the churches.

"It was nice to see all the children getting involved. I think that made it better."

Sandra O’Shea, who was with her son Dante, 7, said she felt very much a part of the event.

"It was lovely, it was fantastic," she said. "We participated. It was nice to be included."

Rev Curtis said afterwards: "I think it all went very well.

"We were delighted that a large number of people were able to share in the drama and that it was a good deal warmer than the freezing conditions experienced for last year’s gathering.

"This has been a team effort dependent on actors, musicians, technicians and crew working together."

Sound and staging equipment were supplied by Rosebery School and costumes from Carshalton Pantomine Company and Lantern Arts.

Hot cross buns were supplied by Epsom Methodist Church.


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