BPCA managed the Redbridge Easter Parade which had an attendance of over 7000 visitors.
The BPCA organised and event managed the Redbridge Easter Parade and Festival for a second year. The event was a real success with participation from over 10 churches and Christian Groups. The headline act was Christian band "Hal and Cherrie" otherwise known as "Ooberfuse" when making secular music which tackles social concerns. We were also blessed this year with performances by African Childrens Choir who danced and sang beautifully drawing in huge crowds to Ilford Town Centre.
Other music was prepared by the Seventh Day Adventist Church, Eden Christian Centre, Likewise Church, Liberty Christian Connection and Ilford Tamil Church all of whom provided the stewards for the event and were very involved with the planning of the parade and festival. Other partners included Ilford Methodist Church, Cranbrook Baptist Church, and Ilford Asian Congregation. Special thanks must also be given to our final St Andrews church who chose Elaine Hobbs to be their representative for the event. Elaine became the groups administrator and kept things together remarkably.
Disappointingly we still have not had our first Pakistani Christian performer at the event, despite two years of trying. However, we are hoping that with Ilford Asian Congregation's support this situation will change going forward.
The event was the first event in the borough ever to be allowede a funfair in the town centre. And approval for the event was granted on first application - a rarity in Redbridge. Organisers hope the event will expand and develop to become a focus point in London, for celebrating Christ's great sacrifice and the new hope that was created as a consequence.
Wilson Chowdhry Chairmn of the BPCA said; "The period from the beginning of Lent to Easter is very significant in the Christian calendar. It is not by chance that Christians refer to the final period of Easter as Holy week. Our parade and festival has fulfilled it's aims to galvanise Christian unity and promote the true message of Easter in Redbridge. Now we must improve the outreach potential and must rach out to other parts of London to ensure that this event meets its maximum potential."
Weather forecasts for the day predicted rainfall throughout the event. Organiser's felt that God's hands were at work however, as no rain touched the event area until 7pm, by which time the deconstruction was virtually complete.
Pastor Bryon Jones, Chairman for the organising committee informed us that three people said the sinners prayer and gave their life to God. It is hoped the event will have a stronger outreach potential next year.
See Ilford Recorder article (click here)
Kensons Contractors provided signs and cones to assist with road closures. This was much appreciated.
The procession came into the town centre for a second station of the cross. Here a prayer was said by Father Ackroyd of the Vine United Reform Church and leader of the Ilford Town Chuches Group.
The procession had in excess of 250 participants before entering the own centre.
Mayor of Redbridge Cllr Felicity Banks gave an opening address.
A special Easter message from this borough figurehead was met well. Cllr Felicity VBanks is herself a Christian.
Wilson Chowdhry asked visitors to prepare for an Easter hat competition.
Pastor Jon Law (Cranbrook Baptist Church) and Pastor Charles (Likewise Church) joined him at the front.
People with Easter hats emerged form the procession and came to the front.
Seventh Day Adventist Church Pathfinders group led the procession with their marching band.
African Childrens Choir sang during the procession.
The Mayor asked visitors to shout so she could assess the winner by loudest cheer.
The winner was Hannah Chowdhry with the orange hat.
Pastor Jon Law prayed at Ilford High Road Baptist Church. Our final staion of the cross.
A reflective prayer was said for the borough.
Those that were left in the procession had a photoshoot at Ilford High Road Baptist Church.
The pictures were colourful and showed that many young people can take the church forward.
10 churches at least were represented.
Young people were bolstered by knowledge that so many Christians reside in Redbridge - their borough.
Children from different churches integrated well.
Smiling faces illustrated the joy the Easter brings.
The procession returned to the centre of town.
Stewards were thanked and an opening prayer was said by Cathloic Priest Father Chris.
Father Chris had been visiting Redbridge on an errand. He joined the procession and stayed at the event all day. We have posted his response in the comments box at the end of this posting. He brought much joy and became the first Catholic leader to join our event.
Hal and Cherrie a Catholic Band performed worship songs for visitors to the event.
The Seventh Day adventists brought much colour to the event, with their flags and uniforms.
Cherrie drew in many people with her singing.
Redbridge Towh Hall steps made a great stage for our event.
Tanisha Ngeze, Hannah Chowdhry and Tattiana Ngeze performed a dance thay had been practising throughout Easter.
The dancing backed by the wonderful Cherrie and Hal, drew the biggest crowd of the day.
People thronged to the town centre activities put together by town centre churches.
The dancers helped visualize the words of the popular Christian song "How Great is Our God"
Hundreds watched the performances. Thousands filled the event area.
The crowd were peaceful and participative.
All day long different activities kep people at the event and drew on the rure message of Easter. Which is new life, peace and hope.
Visitors were impressed with the largest celebration of Easter ever in our borough.
Others joined in the dancing as Hal and Cherrie sang a few more numbers.
This was an Easter filled with passion for the love shown by Christ.
Great joy filled the streets.
Organisers were pleased with the attendance and the outreach. Reports of three people who said the sinners prayer illustrate how event like this can be productive.
MEP Jean Lambert was present at a non political environmental stall, run by the local Green Party.
Liberty Christian Connection (Redeemed Church) performed some worhip songs.
The dancers were at it again.
A free Compost bin was up for grabs in a competition.
Nathanael Lewis BPCA Lead researcher shared poetry and songs that he had composed.
Father Chris closed the event with a prayer.
We have been praying for better participation from our Catholic brothers and his attendance was an answer to our prayers.