Community comes together for church festival of crosses

A festival of crosses is being held at St Mary's Church in Heacham. Pictured is Rev Simon Wilson. Pi

A festival of crosses is being held at St Mary's Church in Heacham. Pictured is Rev Simon Wilson. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

It is a South American tradition which has taken root in Norfolk.

St Mary's church in Heacham has been filled with about 90 specially-crafted crosses, created by members of the congregation, schoolchildren and other groups from the surrounding area.

The initiative is inspired by a tradition in many South American countries, where churches are decorated at Easter with crosses made by their members.

Each design in the Heacham church involves a religious theme, but they differ greatly in other respects.

The Rev Simon Wilson, whose wife the Rev Veronica Wilson is the vicar of Snettisham and Heacham churches, said: 'This is the first time we've done this and we've been overwhelmed by the response.

'To have about 90 crosses in the church is amazing. They are all over the church, and each cross has a story to tell.

'They were made by church groups, schools including Heacham Infants and Junior, Watlington, Snettisham and Brancaster primaries, and village organisations including scout groups and individuals.'

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The original idea came from churchwarden Brian Griffin and stemmed from the huge success of the Christmas tree festivals in places such as Fakenham.

One of the crosses is made up of florins while another features hot cross buns, which the church mice have been eyeing up.

Another cross consists of photographs of recently- departed members of the congregation.

Churchgoer Amanda Hughes' cross stemmed from work she was doing at home.

She said: 'I was doing a lot of re-wiring at home, and I was just wondering if people needed to re-wire their lives with Jesus Christ as the focus.'

Lay reader Pip Lawrence believes the crosses share a tension between the celebration of Christ's resurrection and His terrible suffering on the cross.

The festival of crosses started on Easter Day and runs in the church until April 25.

St Mary's Church is open daily between 10am and 4pm.

How is your place of worship reaching out to the community? Email david.bale2@archant.co.uk

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