Inspiring Easter service at Greasley’s St Mary’s Church

Cast members with Chris Johnston (front, second left). Photo: Peter Jordan.
Cast members with Chris Johnston (front, second left). Photo: Peter Jordan.

St Mary’s Church in Greasley was the setting for an Easter dramatization of ‘To the Cross’.

The sequence of thought-provoking poems by Michael Justin Davis were acted out by a costumed cast of 20 performers playing characters from the Crucifixion.

Retired headteacher Chris Johnston, who took the part of the lampmaker Simon of Cyrene, was a driving force behind the initiative which featured church stalwarts and members of the Greasley Players drama group.

‘To the Cross’ served as a reflective and dramatic Good Friday service, led by the Rev Dave Marvin, and featured characters either known or imaginary who were present at the arrest and crucifixion of Jesus.

The poetry readings were delivered with passion and pride by cast members and an enthralled congregation sat entranced as the emotional story of injustice and inhumanity unfolded.

Phil Dobson, with his hammer and nails as the Crucifier, Michael Bennett impressive as Pontius Pilate, Ellie Lee in the role of Joanna, Bob Willimott as the High Priest and Katrine Hockenhull who played Mary Magdalene, made their marks.

I particularly admired the performance of Dave Sawyer who played Judas, while the ever reliable Chris Johnston inspired those around him.

Completing the cast were Abbey Marvin, John Timby, Jill Clay, Wendy Taylor, Dennis Pickworth, Janet Hedderly, Sandra Sawyer, Ian Kiddie, Winifred Timby Ann Bennett and Barbara Willimott.

Simon Ackroyd (music), and Joyce Widdowson and Janet Hedderly (costumes) made vital contributions.

“This has been a wonderfully reflective and inspiring presentation that has touched the hearts of many and reached into the emotions of everyone,” said Mr Johnston.

Mr Marvin praised everyone who contributed to the success of the Easter service, adding: “It has been wonderful and so meaningful.”