Second station of the cross on the Easter Path
This Good Friday I and my family went on the Easter Path in Brighton organised by Beyond Church. A range of churches and shops around the city each had a station of the cross displayed in their window. As a group we meandered through the streets and crowds, pausing at each station to hear words from Rev Martin Poole and the bible.
Being England the weather was inclement, but the drizzle I felt added to the experience: a small crowd walking together to try a new way of exploring faith, art and Easter.
It reminded me of some ideas I pondered last month about the nature of travel in Jesus’ day. We walked as a group finding new people to talk with as we went, losing people and waiting for those delayed on their way. We were outside in fresh air and in unsafe territory. At one point a young guy shouted at us – congregated around a beautiful drawing of Jesus in the window of the Chapel Royal – that “this is a pavement you know!”
It was a wonderful experience because it wasn’t choreographed to perfection or sanitised by safe surroundings. The stations were often hidden among the debris of a typical shop window, but occupying their own space and conveying messages that were incongruous with the rest of the displays.
I think the most interesting example of this incongruity was the one in the window of Wesley Owen: a stark and arresting black shroud with Jesus’ face impressed upon it in white, next to a collection of kitsch models and Christian paraphernalia and a whole table of “my first” Easter books, with happy shining Jesuses and bouncy pastel-coloured bunnies.
I am so glad I walked this path with my family, with friends and with strangers. The images, the ideas, the conversations and the chance to walk in worship has given food for thought.