The journey started in the church hall (with a notice on the church door to re-direct anyone we didn't manage to catch!), where tables and chairs were set out for people to sit down and tea and coffee were served as people assembled. Whilst not the normal Sunday service, this is something we have done in the past (and had done the previous week in order to be able to set up in the church!).
Entering the church from the porch, the group found themselves in the streets of Jerusalem 2000 years ago, outside a large Upper Room where a celebration of the Jewish Passover feast was just winding down. But, as the wife of the owner of the room told us we when got inside, this had not been quite the ordinary Passover meal. All the usual elements of the Passover celebration had been there, but Jesus had jolted everyone by adding to them – things that no-one expected. He had taken the bread, the ordinary flat unleavened bread of the Passover celebration, and had broken it, saying it was his body, broken for them. Not at all what was supposed to be done at a Passover meal.
Later on, Jesus had taken the jug of wine served with the meal, but he called it his Blood, shed for all for the forgiveness of Sins. Then he insisted everyone drank some, although no-one was very clear why, or what he was on about.
About this time, one of the Disciples slipped out, but without saying goodbye to anyone at the feast – which was a bit odd. Anyway, Jesus had said he wanted to pray, and took his Disciples off with him into the night. The wife of the owner of the room thought the most likely place they could have gone was the garden called Gethsemane, and suggested we try and find them there.
So we were lead out by the storyteller into the dark, narrow streets of Jerusalem, to make our way out of the City and into the moonlit garden of Gethsemane. We must have arrived quicker than Jesus and his friends, because no sooner had we arrived then we heard them coming through the trees and bushes, so we had to hide out of their way to see what would happen next.
Jesus left Disciples in a group and moved a little way away – directly towards us. I don't think he knew we were there, because he was praying very earnestly – in deep turmoil. He was begging to not have to do something, to have it taken away, if there was any other way. But he couldn't insist – God's will must be done, he kept saying. It was very dark, and a bit spooky. The disciples, meanwhile, were asleep – we could hear them snoring!
So we started early, heading off to another garden, not to far from Golgotha, where the grapevine said that they had buried Jesus, two days before after he was crucified. We weren't sure what we would find there, but we certainly didn't expect what did happen.
So off she went, leaving us to find our way back, back 2000 years and into the daylight outside the Church, but with a host of memories and experiences of those few days in Jerusalem, and what Jesus did for all of us, dying on that cross for all our Sins.
Christ is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!
More pictures are on St. David's website and my Flickr account.
An event like the Easter Trail is only possible through the hard work of a huge number of people, both on the days and over weeks either side setting up the church for the event and clearing up afterwards. There are no doubt people missing from this list, for which I apologise (if you know of anyone, please let me know).
Cast:Storyteller – Reverend Trish Davis
Host at the Upper Room – Marjorie Ford
Peter – Richard Davis
Mary Magdalene – Bethan Case
Crew:Technical Operators: Brian Pringle, Marion Clough, Hilary Ash
Off-stage Cues: Robert Pettigrew, Brian Hill, Bob Reynolds
Group Helpers: Hilary Ash, Elizabeth Pettigrew, Val Williams
Refreshments: Shelia Pugh, Pat Jolley, Barbara Owen
Craft Team: Enid Large, Jeanette Owens, Irene Wadeson, Lisa Gati
Technical Supervisor: Richard Ash
Photographs: Hilary Ash, Richard Ash
Set Up and Clear Down:John Evans, Brian Hill, Judith Hill, Dot and Trevor, Irene Binns, Ray Sproston, Brian Jones, Val and Bob Williams
Production Co-ordinator: Judith Hill