The Yorkshire Dales market town of Settle have staged a Passion Play ‘Journey to the Cross’ since 2008. Settle Passion Play will take place again on 14 April 2017. It starts 10.30am St John’s Church.
“The Journey to the Cross” was first performed in 2008, so this is the 10th performance. We have a new (20 year old) Jesus, and a new director. But if you come on Friday you will recognise several other favourite actors from previous years!.. some with new parts.
The threat of rain did not deter crowds coming to see Settle Passion Play. The cloudburst at 10.30am fizzled away by the Garden of Gethsemane Scene (below) and finally a patch of blue sky came at midday at the Crucifixion scene in the church garden of Settle Anglican Parish Church
Here is the scene in the Garden of Gethsemane (AKA The Millennium Gardens, Booths Car Park Settle) where Jesus (right) is praying and the disciples fall asleep.
But the story is not all romantic looking like the above. It is a cruel story. You cannot be squeamish about Good Friday
The Bishop of Our Diocese (Bishop Nick) was on “Thought for the day” on Radio 4 this morning”
Good Friday is not for the squeamish – however over-familiar we might be with its story of suffering. Yet, the world is not for the squeamish either. According to the Institute for Strategic Studies nearly half a million people have died in conflict in the last couple of years. Add to them the fact that the world now has nearly 22 million refugees – half of them under eighteen – and you can see the problem…. I have just spent a week with bishops from places like Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Sudan whose stories sometimes are hard to hear.
Jesus was played by 21 year old Joe Dillon of Hellifield seen here at the beginning washing the disciples’ feet.The producer and director was Michael Cullingworth of Settle – who also played Pilate again.
This is the 10th year Churches Together in Settle have produced the Passion Play play “Journey to the Cross”, and each year new items have been added.
Here two servants ask the disciple Peter “Are you with Jesus?” Peter denies it – and then the cock crows.
The action started started with the ‘Last Supper’ next to the Catholic Church. The crowd then followed Jesus and the disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane. This was in the Millennium Gardens, next to the railway line, near Booths Supermarket. The route wove under the Settle Carlisle Railway Line.
Jesus was dramatically arrested and escorted up Kirkgate with the crowd following again. The Trial Scene was in the Market Place. Pontius Pilate gave the final decision for crucifixion from the surprise elevated position of the balcony on the Shambles.
Jesus carried the cross, escorted by two Roman soldiers through the narrow streets to the the field near the Settle Carlisle line Settle viaduct, opposite to the Parish Church. From the cross, Jesus gave his final words. Two moving speeches were given by Mary Magdalene and the Centurion. The play concluded as the crowd of well over 100 joined in singing ‘When I survey the wondrous cross’.