Article and Photographs: Jonathan White
An outdoor socially distanced Good Friday act of worship took place on the morning of Friday 2nd April 2021 on the front lawn of the Oblate Retreat Centre (Wistaston Hall) on Broughton Lane in Wistaston.
Hymn sheets and a Palm cross were provided on entry with donations gratefully accepted.
The act of worship was led by Revd Den Harding (Rope Green Methodist Mission Area) and included hymns and readings by parishioners telling the Easter story.
The hymns sung were ‘From Heaven You Came (The Servant King)’ (Graham Kendrick), ‘There is a green hill far away’ (Cecil Frances Alexander), ‘My Song Is Love Unknown’ (Samuel Crossman) and ‘When I Survey the Wondrous Cross’ (Isaac Watts).
Permission to use the grounds was kindly provided by Father Lorcan O’Reilly, Director of the Oblate Retreat Centre.
Revd Den Harding said: “It was with mixed emotions that Christians around Wistaston and the surrounding area met together to mark Good Friday. There was the joy of seeing friends for the first time in many months, or perhaps even more than a year; a sense of rejoicing at being able to gather together and to sing (for the first time since last March); and of deep gratitude for the generous hospitality offered to Wells Green Methodist Church by the Director of the Oblate Retreat Centre, Father Lorcan O’Reilly. There was also the sense of the significance of the day – perhaps the most solemn day in the life of the Church, as we recalled the death of Jesus Christ.
“Just as Jesus had those who journeyed with him to the Cross and beyond, so the Rope Green Methodist Mission Area (comprising Shavington with Betley, Wells Green and St John Willaston) have journeyed together over the last twelve months, dialling in to PowWowNow services on phone conference calls every Sunday at 9.45am and 6pm, and for Night Prayers every Tuesday and Thursday at 8.30pm. We have been glad to stay connected to each other, and connected within our communities, and we are glad to have gathered physically today as a community of faith on this very special day.
“We wish you a joyful Easter, and the hope of new life in all its forms in the coming year, with gratitude to those who have carried many of our burdens over the last difficult year.”