Passion Walk Returns to Belfast for Easter 2016

passionwalk2016A unique Easter experience, which invites people to walk the journey of the Easter story in the city streets, is to return to Belfast this year.
The Passion Walk will be back in Belfast by popular demand on Good Friday and Easter Saturday, following the outstanding success of last year’s event. More than 250 people took part in the Walk at Easter 2015, describing it as “moving”, “inspiring” and “innovative”.
The Passion Walk is an individual reflective journey in which the city becomes the backdrop for the events of the Easter story, from the garden of Gethsemane to Christ’s death on the cross. Participants walk at their own pace with a specially designed audio guide, pausing at key locations to reflect on aspects of the story.

Originally developed in Edinburgh by writer Susan Mansfield, the Passion Walk was redesigned for Belfast at the invitation of a group of people drawn from across the churches.

Joy Gowdy, who was instrumental in bringing the Passion Walk to Belfast, said: “It was inspiring and a privilege to be part of the first ever Passion Walk in Belfast in 2015. People from all faiths and none took part, telling us it helped them re-focus on what Easter is about and why it is relevant to today. I’m delighted that the Walk is back for one more year.

“Doing the Passion Walk in Edinburgh in 2013 helped me prepare for Easter in a new and very relevant way, and I wanted to see that experience brought to the city of my birth. No one tradition owns the Easter story. The events are for all people to reflect on and make their personal response to.”

People of all denominations and none are invited to take this opportunity to experience the Easter story afresh in the streets of their city on March 25th and 26th. Walkers begin their journey at Grosvenor House, Glengall Street, and walk in their own time, finishing with refreshments at the Dock Cafe in Titanic Quarter. Advance booking is essential.

Rev Steve Stockman, minister of Fitzroy Presbyterian Church, Belfast, said: “Take time to slow down to walking pace, then take in your city in ways you have never seen it before. And, while doing all that, get a chance to meditate on the Passion of Jesus in the sorts of places and hustle and bustle in which the original events took place – I can’t wait.”

Fr Martin Magill, of Sacred Heart Parish, North Belfast, said: “I found it very meaningful to take part in the Passion Walk through Belfast last year. It was valuable to take time to reflect on the suffering of Jesus through the lens of the streets of a city which has known an immense amount of suffering over the years. There was something very poignant about walking, reflecting and observing Belfast in the run up to Easter.”

Rev Richard Clutterbuck, principal of Edgehill Theological College, said: “The story of Good Friday is central to the Christian faith, but it can feel distant and unconnected from where and how we live now. That’s why artists and poets through the ages have used their imagination to relate it to the present day. This is what the Passion Walk does for 21st-century Belfast. Experience the walk and neither the story, not the city, will seem the same again.”

More information on the Passion Walk is available at www.passionwalk.org. We ask for a donation of £5 per person (£3 concession) to help cover costs. All participants should book in advance via the website, or by phone on 07879 014344.

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