Ilkeston - Silent Witness
w/e 12 April 2009
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

Having covered the annual Christian Easter Witness several times in previous years, I was pondering how to show the event differently this year. But how do you photograph a procession that follows virtually the same route each year up Bath Street and into the Market Place from a different perspective. Then it dawned on me - the difference takes place inside everyone who accepts Jesus as their Saviour so here are the images and some thoughts about this year's "Silent Witness" that took place on Good Friday 10th April 2009.


Christians from all the local churches met this year at the Salvation Army Citadel where a short time of worship took place prior to the start of the walk. The event was organised by IACT, Ilkeston Area Churches Together.
Assembling The Procession

The representatives from the churches then assembled in Baker Street outside the Salvation Army as they prepared to begin the walk.
Last Supper

The first stop was on Bath Street at St Andrew's Methodist Church where a hymn was sung and the drama group reenacted the "Footwashing and the Last Supper". Here we see the disciples and Jesus pointing accusing fingers at Judas Iscariot. A prayer was followed by a short period of reflective silence and then the procession reformed to continue up Bath Street.
Agony In The Garden

Further stops for hymns, drama and prayer all followed by periods of silence took place at various points on the route in a public display of the Easter story. Some bystanders continued apparently unmoved by the events being portrayed . One young boy heard to shout "Carnival!" when he heard the beat of the solitary drum that led the procession was quietened by his mother and hopefully told the meaning of what was happening.

Carrying The Cross

As the procession reached the Market Place a market trader was overheard explaining to a customer that it was Good Friday and the churches did it every year. The young boy, his mother, the market trader and his customer may not have appreciated the true significance of Easter but for at least one moment on Friday the Christian message was made apparent to them. Nearing the old fountain on the Market Place, the figure of Jesus carrying His cross looks a lonely figure as he was some 2000 years ago.
Silent Witness

But following in His footsteps as many millions of believers have done ever since came the crowd following silently behind. The procession was conducted in silence throughout save for the beat of the drum but that silence spoke volumes to everyone who witnessed it.
Trial Before Pilate

Under the gaze of St Mary's Church the "Trial Before Pilate" was reenacted near the old fountain as more passers-by swelled the crowd.
The Crucifixion

The final stop saw the crucifixion portrayed on the steps to the Garden of Remembrance and this was followed by a short address together once again with hymns, prayers and of course another period of silence.
Closing Prayers

Everyone that had assembled at the Garden of Remembrance was then invited to continue the procession across the Market Place into Wharncliffe Road and to to enjoy hospitality at the United Reformed Church where, after the closing prayers, drinks and hot cross buns were enjoyed with more Christian fellowship.

Throughout the walk stewards were handing out small leaflets to passers-by explaining what the "Silent Witness" was all about. The leaflets were printed by Moorleys ( and had been produced by IACT and John R Moorley. Whilst retaining the copyright to the leaflet it is with their permission that I include a PDF copy here. Click here to read the leaflet (opens a new window).

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