Monday, 9 April 2012

There's no pleasing Christians - is there?

Good Friday saw a good crowd turn out for the act of witness in Tamworth's St Editha's Square.

We had a good number met at the local castle grounds and, after prayer, they entered the town centre in a silent procession of witness to the day that it was and the sacrifice of Jesus, the Christ.

After an opening prayer and a couple of songs and a Bible reading we were treated to an excellent bit of street theatre as the trial before Pilate, the scourging and the crucifixion were acted out and then, after a challenging summing up we sang 'When I survey' and were dismissed - job done.

There was a prayer café who stayed for a couple of hours after the main event and they chatted, prayed and continued the witnessing and reaching out to good effect.

being my last time at organising the event I was happy that we'd done something of value that would have brought the Good Friday story into the experience (and hopefully understanding) of many who otherwise would not have been touched by the Gospel accounts that weekend (and probably never). All those who had committed to play a part had discharged their duties well.

Then the comments come in which talk of unhappiness about the 'wrong' tune for when I survey and how they couldn't see at the back and 'couldn't the player be miked' and 'why didn't they do it (the drama) at the top of the bank' and wasn't it 'too graphic' and "I never got a hot cross bun' and 'we didn't like . . . .'

Of course the street theatre company played to the crowd, on the ground, in front of them and even though they tried to engage the crowd (thanks go to the one person mad enough to cry for Barabbas to be freed and for Jesus to be crucified) it seems that they wanted (as one person put it) 'more theatre!!

Odd how we Christians can see the Good Friday witness as being for us rather than for the people in a town which boasts oh so few Christians. How we can dictate as to what we expect from the morning's witness and how, even though trying to get people to be involved is like pulling teeth, everyone knows how the morning should have been done - so many choose to be consumers rather than contributors (I understand we are not alone in this though - after all, we go to church to be blessed don't?).

Thanks to the sound men, musicians, prayer café, actors and all who played their part - and for those who complained, I'm passing your names over to the person organising next year to ensure that, as you know what is needed, everything will be perfect next year :-)

He is risen. Hallelujah


Bob said...

I'd expect a "stunned silence" from the complainers (unless it was a genuine, constructable, sortable complaint)

Anonymous said...

I was at the Good Friday witness and have to say that I found the drama extremely moving and challenging. I was a little sad that we played a different tune from the standard for when I survey but thought it was an excellent witness.

As for doing the drama elsewhere, perhaps we could do it in a theatre setting _ like Church perhaps? Just kidding!

Always those who do nothing who shout the loudest - thank you for a great act of witness.


Anonymous said...

Had the same with the walk of witness and gathering in the town square where we are when I did it last year.

Those who were never seen when there was work to be done all came for the show and complained because "it wasn't what they wanted".

This year went to the Cathedral instead and left them to it.

Don't let them grind you down.

Vic Van Den Bergh said...

Hi Bob,

Rarely constructive - last couple were wrong too :-)

It seems everyone knows shar they want and yet they never come forward to help remedy the errors and failings they see.

Just no pleading some, is the:-)

Vic Van Den Bergh said...

Thanks for other comments / both duly noted


Anonymous said...

I was there and was also saddened by that 'When I Survey' was a dirge rather than the moving poignant hymn of the traditional well-known tune. However, the event was - in my opinion - a wonderful witness; the procession was quiet and solemn, the theatre excellent and obviously professional, and (apart from When I Survey), the music well chosen and well played. The theatre company were obviously used to playing to passing crowds. It was a shame that more of the spectators didn't join in when encouraged to: that would have made much more of an impact than moving the players to a different stage.

Anonymous said...

Hello Vic,

Christ has risen.

I can empathise with you. My take is that by and large Christians in the west have become consumers and this also has negative impacts of attitudes to church, to serving, etc.

in Christ

p.s By the way, the photo of the bloke carrying the cross, perhaps it is me, but it really does look like he is wearing a nappy. ;)

Vic Van Den Bergh said...

Think the loin cloth think was more acceptable than the alternative :-)

Always a problem the way you clothe Jesus on a Good Friday re-enactment.

Thanks for comments,


Anonymous said...


Think the loin cloth think was more acceptable than the alternative :-)


Nice blog by the way. Praying for you guys in the UK a lot. Shall add you to my list.

Paul Ebdy said...

Hey listen Guys and Girls. .... Never mind those silly comments, as I for one was hugely impressed looking at the rightful looking Christi Figure and clad in what I think is a pretty perfect looking sized loincloth. I often act as a thief in passions wearing an even briefer loincloth, where let's face it, crucified persons were humiliated with the tiniest covering and often nothing, therefore if Passions are to represent the truth then silly long bath towels are out.... I would be very happy to act out in your 2015 passion as a thief. More than happy in my trusty little cloth and give a very dramatic show to all as I carry my crossbeam and cry out to Jesus. I would also be very happy to construct your crosses, another job I do for passions being a carpenter (retired from the military recently I have time on my hands to help). Don't whatever you do, resort to silly out of theme long loincloths... completely looses the effect. Well done to you all and only wish I were there. If you would like pics of me, just ask. God Bless all. Zebs

Paul Ebdy said...

Ooops and here is me not looking at the date. 2012!. Still my comments stand if you ever need another Christi actor to bring out the Passion for 2015. I am your volunteer. God bless again. Zebs