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.
The representatives from the churches then assembled in Baker
Street outside the Salvation Army as they prepared to begin the
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.
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.
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.
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
Under the gaze of St Mary's Church the "Trial Before Pilate"
was reenacted near the old fountain as more passers-by swelled
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.
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 (www.moorleys.co.uk) 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).