Images courtesy of Ilford Recorder.
The BPCA organised the first ever Easter Parade and Festival in the London Borough of Redbridge. The event which was held on Easter day was supported by the majority of town Centre churches and special thanks go to all the following:
City Gates Church
Eden Christian Centre
High Road Baptist Church
Ilford Methodist Church
St Andrews Church
Vine United Reform Church
These churches either supported us financially or provided volunteers or assistance.
Over 250 people joined our procession that set off from Cranbrook Baptist Church on time at 14:00. An initial procession of around 50 participants increased to a fairly large group and reached it's maximum by the time we entered the town centre.
Congregations across the borough advertised our event through their respective church newsletters. Despite the cold weather and busy personal schedules of local Christians who would have attended morning services, the turnout was substantial. Christians of all diversities were represented and the mix of women, men, children, black, white and Asian Christians was a wonderful spectacle and representation of God's kingdom in Redbridge.
Children prepared slogans that were shouted during the procession including a congregational favourite "Jesus the Messiah, No-one else is higher!" Songs such as 'In the Name of Jesus' and 'Oh when the Saints' were sung as we marched through the town. The procession was greeted with cheers and car horns beeping in a supportive fashion.
For an event that began its planning in January and marketing in February (churches were approached form November but were late in committing), this was for all intents and purposes a huge success. Moreover, the chill weather with a climatic temperature of 2 degrees could not prevent Christians from rejoicing over the resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
The bouncy castle and various stalls at the event attracted many non-Christians many of whom remarked at their joy they felt at being part of our celebrations. Christian tracts and books were distributed by High Road Baptist Church.
If nothing else the event highlighted the relevancy of Christianity in contemporaneous times and gave us an opportunity to share our faith with other Christians and those of wider faiths. The unity amongst local pastors and denominations induced a sense of pride within me personally. To know that our community has so much love for one another and a passion for outreach for non-believers, provided great encouragement that strengthened my faith. Our God is an awesome God he reigns over Heaven and earth and I for one can't wait to serve him next year on a similar event, hopefully on a larger scale.