3:00pm Friday 18th April 2014
By Stuart Laundy
TRADITIONAL Easter parades, events and activities have taken place across the region today (Friday, April 18).
The Bishop of Durham joined Good Friday worshippers on their annual Walk of Witness.
Bishop Paul Butler took his place in the procession from the centre of Bishop Auckland to St Peter's Chapel, in the grounds of nearby Auckland Castle, for a service.
The event was organised by the Bishop Auckland Fellowship of Christian Churches and began with a welcome at the Newgate Centre by the Rev Keith Phipps.
Organiser Jane Crawford said it was wonderful to welcome Bishop Paul to the Walk of Witness.
Drama features strongly in the service and this year it was presented by Daisy Arts and the Wash Youth Theatre and Arts Group, both locally based.
Mrs Crawford said: "It is very much about the crucifiction but we try to look at it through a different view point each year.
"This year, it is through the eyes of May, mother of Jesus and her torment and suffering."
A traditional Easter parade was in Chester-le-Street, which has historic links to Christianity.
The event was organised by Churches Together in Chester-le-Street and saw members from five places of worship following a cross through the town.
Members of the town's Methodist Church, Salvation Army, Anglican Church, Roman Catholic Church and its United Reformed Church then stood together for a service of thanksgiving in the Market Place.
Further north, a cross was carried from Beal sands to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne in Northumberland during the annual Christian Easter pilgrimage A group of 20 church-goers made the three mile trek from St John's Vicarage in Snods Edge, Shotley Bridge, to St Andrew's in Kiln Pit Hill, Northumberland.
An eight foot cross was carried by one member of the congregation as they walked across the countryside and participated in the Procession of Witness ceremony.
Reverend David Wood of St John's performed readings and hymns were sung as they made the passage between the two churches to celebrate Easter.
Children in Durham City took part in an Easter egg hunt in the Prince Bishops Shopping Centre. The event will be held again tomorrow (Easter Saturday, April 19) in the Bishops' Quarter.
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