Norwich churches join in Passover meal
By Eldred Willey
Five churches in south Norwich joined together this year to celebrate Easter with a Passover Meal.
Bishop Peter Fox led the event with gusto in traditional Jewish style, ably assisted by Clare Elkins, pastor of the New Hope Christian Centre, who guided the young people through their paces.
They were joined by members of the New Hope Christian Centre, Ipswich Road United Reformed Church, St John’s Lakenham, St Paul’s Tuckwood and St John’s Catholic parish.
At around 115, numbers exceeded the expectations of the caterers, who had prepared a splendid feast of lamb and mint sauce, horseradish and boiled eggs.
The evening started in hushed expectation as the children used feathers and wooden spoons to sweep away the leavened crumbs of the old year. Then Bishop Peter led a two-and-a-half hour celebration of Jewish chanting and hand-clapping as participants relived and made their own the journey to the Promised Land.
Roger Smith from the New Hope centre brought his musical gifts to add some lively modern renderings of the psalms.
The meal included parsley in salt to represent the bitterness of slavery and haroset (a mixture of apples, nuts, cinnamon and wine) to stand for the sweetness of freedom. The Yorkshire Pudding was not quite Yiddish, nor the vegetarian quorn cutlets quite koshser, but they made the bridge from an ancient Jewish culture to a modern English one.
The meal was the latest stage in a growing partnership between churches in the Lakenham and Tuckswood area. The next stop is Reality II in July, when they will join for a common outreach to the two estates.
Tucking in to the Passover meal in south Norwich.