A much smaller body of pilgrims this year (due to adverse weather) began the day at St James Great Saling with refreshingly original reflections on the arrest of of Jesus and Peter's denial, before moving off to St Peter and St Paul Little (Bardfield) Saling for some excellent readings, reflections and poetry (by Carol Anne Duffy) imaginatively bringing to life the relationship between Christ and Pilate's wife, and Pontius Pilate himself.
Then, with some additional late risers we set out for St Mary's Stebbing, where there was a break for lunch and some liquid worship involving handprints in sand, a reminder of our baptism in to Christ's death, and some opportunities to lay our burdens at the foot of the cross. This was most effectively achieved by the placing of stones (picked up on the way or gleaned at the last minute from the churchyard) in a cairn befroe the cross, which we did in silence listening to "Jesus Remember me".
The highlight of that service though was an av presentation using images and music to express the need for salvation for the world, and the wonder of God's gift of the cross.
I wish I could share it with you but there are myriad copyright issues!
Instead you'll have to imagine it; you are looking at pictures of human suffering, war, terrorism and sin, listening to this. Then the images change to those of the passion and crucufixion of Jesus, and hte music changes to this. I mean it was my idea, but it still reduced me to tears. I am very gratful to our av guru Richard for his hard work.
After that we set off in deteriorating weather conditions towards St Mary's Lindsell, where after rain and sleet and wind, we hled a service of an hour at the cross with more inventive and original reflections on the death of Christ.
Afterwards there were hot cross buns and hot drinks, most welcome!