Two amazing Easter stories

First published in Opinion The Westmorland Gazette: Photograph of the Author by

DESPITE the poor weather, tens of thousands of visitors flocked as usual to the Lake District and surrounding areas over the Easter break.

And the highlight for tourists and locals alike was undoubtedly Kendal’s first Passion Play, which brought the religious festival - arguably the most important in the Christian calendar - out of the church and on to the street.

Caroline Moir’s script for A Passion Of Kendal gave the 2,000-year-old story a modern voice with the town’s mayor Jonathan Brook taking on the role of Jesus.

Around 200 performers - actors, singers and musicians - took to the streets in support.

The result was a magnificently moving spectacle, the first of its kind in Kendal for something like 400 years.

While ostensibly a religious celebration, the depiction of the crucifixion and subsequent resurrection was also an important community event enjoyed by Christians and non-Christians alike. Many would no doubt wish to see it as an annual Easter event.

However, as the performance demanded an enormous amount of work and commitment from those taking part, it may not be possible to stage another for two or three years.

But if there was any doubt that all the effort was worth it, it must have been dispelled by the reaction of the appreciative crowd on Saturday.

Of course, there are plenty of other things to do in the Lake District at Easter and many people chose to enjoy the wide open spaces over the weekend, especially if they wanted to exercise their children or pet dogs.

For one couple of dog walkers, however, a simple stroll on the sands of Morecambe Bay almost turned into a tragedy.

As scores of people looked on, the couple and their pets became cut off by the fast-rising tide at Far Arnside.

As the water threatened to totally engulf them, some of the watchers walked away because they could not bear to witness what they believed would be a fatal outcome.

Thankfully, rescuers reached the couple in time and they were saved.

So it was that South Lakeland witnessed two amazing Easter stories, both beginning with fear and despair but ultimately ending in joy!

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