Record-breaking crowds at Hornchurch Easter play

A record breaking 4,000 people turned out to witness Jesus’ dramatic last days on earth on Good Friday at the Hornchurch Passion Play.

Captivating actors brought Jesus’ story alive to the crowds on the Queen’s Theatre Green in Billet Lane, Hornchurch on Friday April 22 to Easter Sunday, Sunday April 24.

Director, Kevin Walsh said: “Good Friday was just amazing because it was the biggest ever crowd that we have had since we started.

“The atmosphere was just so overwhelming especially at the crucifixion when you could hear a pin drop.”

Starting at 7.30pm, the play was based around the four Gospel accounts of Jesus’ death and saw Jesus arriving in Jerusalem for the Passover, the action unfolding before culminating in his death and resurrection.

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The play, which is a combined production from the churches of Hornchurch and Havering is a realisation of five years of planning and work from a dedicated team of volunteers.

Kevin said: “The play was just awesome because it is important to remind people of the real message of Easter and to let them know that it is not all about chocolate eggs and Easter bunny but the fact that Jesus died and gave us the promise of eternal life.

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“For us the most important thing about the play is to be able to share this message to the rest of the local community.”

The play first started in 1995 as the result of a spiritual vision given to Freddie Sayer from Hornchurch Methodist Church in 1993.

It was brought to reality after a meeting with professional actor and former RADA student Kevin and former St Andrew’s Vicar Rev Hugh Dibbens.

The Passion Play was first presented in 1995 – with follow ups in 2001 and 2006 with the aim to cross all barriers of class, background and faith.

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