Christians mark Holy day across Norfolk
Christians took to the streets across Norfolk today to mark Good Friday.
In Dereham about 150 people from churches across the town held prayer walks around the busy town centre before meeting in the Market Place and then processing behind a cross to an open air service in Nelson Place precinct.
Christians gave out Easter eggs, and leaflets with the challenging message of Easter and promoting Easter Sunday services.
The Rev Chris Densham, minister at Dereham Baptist Church, was pleased with the turnout and the chance to have a march of witness in the town with the market operating and shops open.
'It was market day on the original Good Friday and business as usual and life went on as normal.'
Major Jean Crozier, corps officer for the Salvation Army, said: 'Good Friday was not the end and on Sunday we will celebrate as Jesus Christ was raised to life and still lives.'
On Sunday morning Christians will gather on Neatherd Moor at 6.15am for the traditional sunrise service. One of the largest Good Friday processions Sheringham has known saw some 250 silent Christians follow the cross and watch it being raised on the top of Beeston Bump, just outside the town.
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The morning began with the town's first ecumenical Good Friday service, held in the parish church of St Peter, led by clergy from all denominations.
The service was such a success it is likely to become an annual event, according to Rev Colin Sherwood, chairman of Sheringham Churches Together and the town's Methodist minister.
'Usually everyone has a service in their own church and we all come together for the procession,' he said. 'This time, although solemn, it was a very exciting occasion with traditional music from the Salvation Army, and modern keyboard and guitar. I don't think now we could go back to how it used to be.'
The procession route was shorter than usual, avoiding the busy Cromer Road because of a national policy change which means police no longer escort such events.
Beginning at St Peter's, those taking part headed for Beeston Bump via Sheringham's clock tower where a hymn and worship were led by the Salvation Army.
New Life Church members took on a policing role, acting as marshals at North Walsham's Good Friday Procession of Witness which saw about 80 Christians from all denominations walk in silence through the town, bearing a cross.
Canon Derek Earis, the vicar of North Walsham, said they had altered their route this year in order to keep to pavements. Organising road closures for the event would have involved a lot of red tape and money, he added.
The route began at the Market Cross and led into North Walsham Parish Church, passing the Congregational, Roman Catholic and Methodist churches, and the Salvation Army Hall. A prayer and hymn, accompanied by Salvation Army musicians, marked the beginning and end of the procession.
'It's always an inspiring event which helps us to feel unity with other Christians and provides a witness to the town,' said Canon Earis.
Christians from King's Lynn Churches Together paraded a cross through Lynn before staging a mock crucifiction in the town's main shopping centre.