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Thetford Christians form an unmissable Walk of Witness

Around 150 Christians from across Thetford’s churches joined together for an hour and a half this Good Friday morning to form a passionate Walk of Witness around the town centre, stopping in key places to praise, hear readings and pray together.  Jenny Seal reports.

ThetfordWalkofWitness2For decades the Thetford Walk of Witness has been an important event in the town’s calendar.  This Good Friday on April 14, 2017 was no different. 

Approximately 150 Christians of all ages and denominations joined together to walk around the town centre, stopping at key points in the town to worship and reflect on different aspects of Jesus’ journey during the run up to the crucifixion.

Organised by Thetford Christians Together, the theme of the walk was ‘It is finished…but it is not the end’. 

The Walk of Witness started at St Cuthbert’s Church with a short service at 10.30am.  Leading the service and ongoing Walk, Simon Barnett told the packed church: “I want you to imagine that you are the crowd. You’ve come together and you are making a bit of noise.”  

“I’m not expecting you to be silent.  Silence in a crowd seems to me a little bit abnormal. So talk to each other, tell each other what Jesus means to you.  You are pleased that Jesus has come riding into your lives and you want him to come riding into the lives of others.”  

Rev Tony Heywood from Thetford Team Ministry gave a short talk about the completeness of Jesus’ forgiveness through the cross.  He said: “It is this glorious Gospel message, the heart of the Christian faith, the message of the cross that drives us out onto the streets to witness today in this very particular, wonderful exciting way and every day in more normal way; because we long for people to know the truth”.

The procession walked behind the cross to Thetford Methodist Church where Rev Helen Jary from Thetford Team Ministry read a poem and then served communion as the crowd sang ‘Jesus Christ when I think about your sacrifice’.   

During the walk onlookers were given postcards with timings of the Easter Sunday Services taking place in nine of the town’s churches and there was the opportunity to chat and pray.

The crowd of Christians walked on to Thetford’s new Riverside complex and stopped in front of The Light CinemaCllr Stuart Wright read about Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane and then those gathered were encouraged to form small groups to pray about priorities within Thetford.

Outside King’s House, the home of Thetford Town Council, the gathering heard about the verdict of Pontius Pilate with a passage was read by Tim Lovejoy of Fulmerston Christian Fellowship.

ThetfordWalkofWitness4At the final stop, in the Town Square the cross was held aloft with a painting of the crucified Jesus as Andrea Jarrold read from Matthew 27.  After a moving version of the song, ‘Oh to See the Dawn’, Nigel Worth from Hope Church Thetford led a Gospel message encouraging people to open their hearts to God.

He said: “The whole theme of this Walk of Witness is that it is not yet over.  It is finished, but it is not yet over.  Life is for living.  I want something that is alive to give myself to.  I want the founder of my religion to be alive today and He is. So our invitation is for you to invite the living Lord Jesus into your life by his Holy Spirit.  And I can promise you this – your life will never be the same again.  Because suddenly God and you have connected.  And you will know it.”

Once the walk was complete, those gathered were invited to King Street Baptist Church for refreshments.  

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