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