Diocese of York

Weeks of work by members of South Holderness Deanery churches, with Withernsea Methodist and URC and Hedon Roman Catholic Churches, came together in open air Passion Play performances to audiences of 250 each in Hedon and Withernsea over the Palm Sunday weekend.

Members of Withernsea Entertainers amateur dramatic group, and the Legio VI Roman reenactment group joined church members in “Easter Story,” originally developed by a church in Sheffield.

The play had great impact both on local people and on the church members who made props and costumes, rehearsed and performed, and arranged to steward and publicise it.

“Their portrayal of this wonderful story was superb,” commented Mayor of Hedon, Cllr Neil Black.

Bishop of Hull Alison White gave a final message and blessing on both occasions.

The play is feasible for any church or group of churches to produce; the audience stands around the action (in narrated mime) and then moves with the players between the four scenes.

Like the medieval mystery plays it is in verse which keeps the pace active and enables the gospel message to be proclaimed as well as the story.

Rural Dean Susan Walker said, "We may be from lots of small churches but by working together (and with the Holy Spirit) we can achieve much more than we can on our own.

“Whatever next?”

Canon Philip West added, “People are still talking about the event, which showed the possibilities of Deanery Mission; we know from comments that many people outside the churches were challenged and inspired.

“Local residents, as well as Withernsea and Hedon Town Councils and the East Riding Council, were very helpful and supportive.”