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A solemn silence for walk
A SILENT procession through Basingstoke brought home the real meaning of Easter.
More than 300 people, including Christians from churches of different denominations, took part in Good Friday’s Walk of Witness – an annual event organised by the Alliance of Basingstoke Churches.
The walkers congregated outside the London Street United Reformed Church on Friday and heard readings and sang hymns before setting off on the solemn march.
Andy Taylor, chairman of the Alliance of Basingstoke Churches, said: “This is a solemn day but it is a good day.”
He told the crowd about the importance of remembering the true meaning of Easter, before the crowd, in pairs, set off on the procession.
Led by a man carrying a large cross and a Salvation Army band, which beat a drum steadily, the walkers weaved their way down Wote Street and through the town.
Shoppers turned and stared as the procession made its way through Festival Place and The Malls, before assembling in Castle Square, accompanied by the band.
After further readings led by people from different churches around the borough, those gathered were encouraged to place flowers on a stark cross, covering it in a mass of colour.
Valerie Hill, 54, has joined the walk for the last five years.
She said: “It’s incredibly peaceful and it really gives you a chance to think about the real meaning of Easter.
“It’s a really important event for Christians in the town. We see the same faces every year and it’s a great chance for us all to be together.”
After hymns, a prayer and benediction by Rev Mark Hogan from St Joseph’s Church, in St Michael’s Road, South Ham, a joint reading of The Lord’s Prayer was said, before people were treated to tea, coffee and hot cross buns in St Michael’s Church Cottage.