Following the Cross in Bridport

by Gerry Lynch last modified 18 Feb, 2016 07:42 PM

Specially commissioned Stations of the Cross to be displayed across West Dorset town for Holy Week

Following the Cross in Bridport

The Thirteenth Station: Jesus is Taken Down from the Cross by Elaine Butcher

Churches Together in Bridport and District, in conjunction with the Bridport Arts Society, will display the fourteen Stations of the Cross at various locations throughout Bridport and West Bay during Holy Week and Easter. The Stations of the Cross graphically depict the various interactions Jesus has along his final journey to Calvary. Fifteen local artists have produced the stations, each set against a different local backdrop, and many using contemporary figures.  In part funded by a grant from the Diocesan Aldhelm Mission Fund each station is painted on a 3 foot by 3 foot canvas. 

The route begins at St. Swithun’s Church, North Allington and weaves its way through the centre of Bridport, making its way along South Street, and down West Bay Road with the stations  displayed in front of a variety of different premises. The fifteenth station, the Resurrection, will be on display in St. John’s Church, West Bay on Easter Day after the Dawn Service on the East Pier at 6.00 a.m.

On Good Friday, 25 March, Bishop Nicholas will lead an ecumenical Walk of Witness along the entire route beginning at St. Swithun’s at 11.00 am. At. 2.30 pm there will be a reflective service outside on Harbour Green at West Bay (or in St. John’s Church, if wet) lasting half an hour.

Some artists reveal they have been taken to spiritual depths, for example Val Corgan, who painted the seventh Station, Jesus falls for the second time, says, ‘I was intrigued by the brief for this work because of the need to include a recognisable background as well as putting any figures into modern day dress. In painting this piece, it has therefore occurred to me that modern day struggles are much the same as they were in Christ’s day. In today’s society there are many ‘crosses to bear’.

Vice Chairman of Churches Together in Bridport and District, the Revd Philip Ringer, who is co-ordinating the project said, ‘These artists have really taken on board the brief and have made truly splendid interpretations of the various ‘stations’. I am sure that many people will want to come at some time during the display period admire the quality of the work. We are looking forward to the Bishop being with us on Good Friday. 

The Stations of the Cross have been used as a devotion in the Church of England since at least the middle of the Victorian period. In 2006, a liturgy for Stations of the Cross, commended by the Bishops of the C of E, was published by the church in Common Worship: Times and Seasons. It is available for free download via this link, from page 236 onwards.

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