This Easter something very special will be happening in the town.
Schools, colleges and other groups have partnered with Swindon Churches Together to make shopping centres, leisure facilities and a major hospital the backdrop for presenting the story of Easter in a unique and imaginative way.
From Palm Sunday to Easter Monday (Holy Week 17-25 April) a series of ‘Stations’ inspired by events leading up to the death and resurrection of Jesus will be on display at various public venues across the town. These include shopping centres (The Designer Outlet Centre, The Brunel Plaza), leisure facilities (Oasis, The Link), libraries (Central, North Swindon) and the Great Western Hospital.
Secondary schools including Commonweal, Isambard, Ridgeway, St Joseph’s, Kingsdown and Swindon Academy are involved, as well as the town’s two Colleges. Primary schools include Wroughton, Catherine Wayte, St Francis, Oliver Tomkins, Ruskin and Holy Rood. The Swindon Artists Forum and Booth House have also created Stations.
Each of the participating groups have chosen a bible passage from one of the gospels and used it as the inspiration for their Station. A variety of artistic media has been used such as paintings, murals, construction, sculpture, and photography. The Stations cover 16 different events and include Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, the clearing of the Temple, betrayal by Judas, and Jesus’ trial.
We anticipate that families and individuals may wish to follow the Easter journey and visit all the stations. A leaflet is being produced to assist this and information will also be available on the Swindon Churches Together website (www.swindonchurches.org).
In addition to the Stations, on Easter Eve (23 April) Swindon Churches Together will be giving away over 250 Real Easter eggs at a few stations. The Real Easter egg is the first ever commercially produced chocolate egg to carry the story of Easter on its packaging. It has been made from fairly traded ingredients and a percentage of the cost of each egg is being donated to charitable agencies.
Churches Together is also providing Real Easter Eggs to two significant Christian charities in Swindon: The Filling Station and Swindon Foodbank. During Holy week these will go out to the homeless of Swindon and those who are going through hard times.
The Chair of Swindon Churches Together, Bishop Lee Rayfield said, "This is a wonderful opportunity for everyone to encounter the Easter story in a fresh way and discover why Christians believe it is such good news."
Pictured: Bishop Lee with the Mayor and Mayoress of Swindon Rex and Sandra Barnett holding The Real Easter Egg made from Fairtrade chocolate.