Bishop Graham gives backing to Norwich Passion Play 

The Bishop of Norwich has given his whole-hearted backing to the Passion Play which will be performed on the streets of Norwich this Easter (Holy) Saturday, April 16. 

 “I’m looking forward immensely to seeing the Norwich Passion Play on Easter Saturday, April 16, in the heart of our city,” said Bishop Graham Usher. “Sharing the story of Jesus on the streets of our city is vitally important.

“Live theatre – and in this case particularly – street theatre can have a very immediate and personal impact on those viewing it. It can give a tangible sense of what it may have been like to be in the crowd, seeing Jesus pass by. It can create a sense of wonder, to pique interest and, I hope, to enable people to engage with the Passion of Jesus.”

Bishop Graham believes that churches of all denominations will benefit from supporting the event and bringing people along to see it.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for local churches to invite people they know, who may be putting a toe into exploring who Jesus was and is. Perhaps they may know little about the Easter story, or they may have forgotten much. It may be easier to invite folk to a community event such as this rather than initially inviting them into a church building,” he said.

The Bishop can personally recommend the creative work of Saltmine Theatre Company: “I am familiar with the wonderful work of Saltmine from my time as Bishop of Dudley, where they are based. I always enjoyed my visits to them and seeing their new work; they really are fabulous.

“Saltmine is a professional theatre company with a passion for communicating the Gospel, I particularly appreciate their creativity and direct approach. I commissioned them to put on some powerful theatre about domestic violence which had a profound impact in schools and with various community groups. Do bring people along – they are great!”

Such a project which brings Christians from different denominations and Christians groupings to work together is a valuable exercise says Bishop Graham.

“Ecumenical projects such as this, that bring Christians from different churches and backgrounds together, enable us to show unity in our diversity. They help us to realise that we have more in common with one another than we perhaps sometimes think, and we have a common desire to share the good news of Jesus with others.

“This Passion Play is a great gift to allow us to do this on the streets of Norwich. To bring alive a story that’s been shared for nearly 2,000 years and make it accessible to so many. I’m looking forward to it and I’ll hope to see you there.”

Watch Bishop Graham talk about the Norwich Passion Play here or above.