On Good Friday (14th April 2017) hundreds of people from York and the surrounding area took part in the annual ecumenical events organised by Churches Together in York.
Approximately 100 participants gathered that evening in Parliament Street for a Walk of Witness through the city centre, following a large wooden cross. Participants were welcomed by Johan Bergström-Allen of the Churches Together in York Committee, a psalm was prayed, and a prayer was led by Revd. Alison Micklem from St. Columba & New Lendal United Reformed Church.
For the second year running, the walkers were blessed to be joined by visiting busker Jonny Walker who accompanied them in the first hymn.
The Walk of Witness processed to Kings Square, where another reading and hymn were proclaimed.
The walkers continued along the city streets.
The Word of God was again proclaimed at Saint Helen's Square, named after the mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine. This was highly symbolic, since Helena was reputedly from York, and found the remains of Christ's cross when visiting the Holy Land in the fourth century.
Finally, at the East Doors of the Minster, the walkers heard a final Bible reading proclaimed, and a prayer was led by Fr. David Carnelley of the Greek Orthodox Church community of St. Constantine and St. Helen.
Inside the Minster the ecumenical service started with a word of welcome from the Dean, and from the Chair of Churches Together in York, Derek Thomson. Readings from Scripture were proclaimed by Christians from different denominations, and intersperced with psalms and hymns.
The sermon was preached by Very Reverend Canon Alan Sheridan, parish priest of St. George's Catholic Church, and Dean of St. Wilfrid's Deanery.
Symbols of Jesus's Passion were carried to the foot of the Cross as prayers of intercession were read.
The service concluded with a symbolic carrying of a bier, representing the laying of Christ in the tomb. As the bell Great Peter tolled, the congregation moved towards the Lady Chapel where an 'interactive cross' made by York Minster Sunday School from cloths was laid across the floor. Throughout Lent, the Sunday School had been reflecting on themes from the gospel readings and exploring the meaning of the cross, creating the cloth cross as a focus for thinking and prayer.