By Peter Jennings.
Archbishop Bernard Longley accompanied by Bishop David Urquhart, the Anglican Bishop of Birmingham, led the annual Good Friday Walk of Witness through the streets of Birmingham city centre.
More than 200 people from different Christian traditions took part in the Walk of Witness on a cold but bright morning, 29 March 2013.
In St Michael’s Catholic Church, Moor Street, Archbishop Bernard Longley read an extract of the Passion from the Gospel according to St Mark, and prayed that: “The Good News of Jesus may be proclaimed to the ends of the earth.”
Singing traditional hymns including, “The Old Rugged Cross” and “There is a green hill far away”, the members of the Christian communities made their way along the length of New Street to the statue of Queen Victoria in front of the old Birmingham Town Hall.
Here an extract of the Passion was read by Fr David Oakley, the New Rector of Mary’s College, Oscott, the Diocesan Seminary, who said a prayer for the citizens and the City of Birmingham.
The Walk of Witness continued along Colmore Row to St Philip’s Anglican Cathedral, where Bishop Urquhart read a further extract from the Passion and said a prayer for peace in the world.
The Walk of Witness then made its way to the Metropolitan Cathedral and Basilica of St Chad, where Stations of the Cross were led alternately by the Archbishop and the Bishop of Birmingham.
At the end, Archbishop Bernard Longley said a prayer for the ministry of Archbishop Justin Welby, the new Archbishop of Canterbury, and Bishop David Urquhart said a prayer for the ministry of Pope Francis.
This was a deeply symbolic ecumenical moment by two well-known Birmingham Church Leaders at the start of a new era for the Anglican Communion and for the Catholic Church world-wide.