Hundreds take part in walks of the cross

Mark Johnson and Jocelyn Marsh, of Oamaru, carry a wooden cross along Coquet St at the start of ...
Mark Johnson and Jocelyn Marsh, of Oamaru, carry a wooden cross along Coquet St at the start of Good Friday’s walk of the cross from St Paul’s Church to St Luke’s Church in Oamaru. PHOTO: DANIEL BIRCHFIELD
Continuing a long-standing Good Friday tradition, hundreds of people in Oamaru and Queenstown took part in Easter walks of the cross yesterday.

In Oamaru, about 130 people left with the large wooden cross from St Paul's Presbyterian Church in Coquet St, heading west to lower Thames St and then south to St Luke's Church in Itchen St for a morning service.

Before the walk and a short prayer outside St Paul's, people gathered at the church to view seven displays made by church groups from around Oamaru dedicated to the last seven words of Jesus.

The Rev Rose Luxford, of St Paul's Presbyterian Church, said the walk was a time of reflection and gratitude for her congregation, and other Oamaru church-goers

"Good Friday was the day Jesus died. It's a solemn day and it's a way of us witnessing to the community of beliefs, and we look forward to the resurrection on Sunday."

She said the walk was just as relevant today as it had been in the past.

"Our faith gives us something to live by, to live in hope. It's something that can influence our lives, and how we live."

Ms Luxford, who has been in her role for 10 years, said the walk was a "long tradition" for the church.

Dozens of people also gathered for a walk of the cross at St Peter's Anglican Church in Camp St in Queenstown.

They took turns holding the wooden cross and singing as they progressed through the town, before finishing up at St Joseph's Church for a hot cross bun and hot drink.

The group stopped at seven "stations" along the way to reflect on Jesus' life and his journey up to crucifixion.

The Rev David Wright said the long-standing tradition brought people together through the unity of faith.

"The real beauty of this is it unites Christians of whatever denomination; Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist, Anglican."

"Our walk is a pilgrimage ... There are no exceptions here; everyone is welcome to carry the cross," he told the crowd.


Great to see this in new Zealand