Good Friday Ecumenical Procession up Upper Street Islington 2003
by Graham Kings
Date added: 26/07/2020
Good Friday Ecumenical Procession up Upper Street, Islington 2003
BBC Radio 4 Sunday Programme, 20 April 2003
Transcript by Graham Kings
Presenter: Stephen Perry
Stephen Perry: In North London, on Good Friday, shoppers and the café society in Islington’s main street, were given an unexpected reminder of the meaning of this day in the Christian calendar. A dramatic recreation of Christ carrying the cross to Calvary from the new shopping centre to St Mary’s Church.
Graham Kings, Vicar of St Mary's Islington: We’re standing in the middle of the new N1 shopping centre, on Upper Street. We’re looking up at this enormous new sculpture of Angel Wings. It stretches right across from Borders on one side to United Colours of Benneton on the other. This really is reinterpreting, re-envisioning and in some ways rehallowing the sculptures, so that people see them in a new light and I hope that when they go under the crown of thorns tomorrow or next week, they will see something new about it and remember the procession.
Jean-Luc Choplin, Sadlers Wells CEO: At the Beginning of the 21st century, we are seeing something absolutely extraordinary. Artists are looking at invading all public spaces in order, in fact, to establish very strong links with the community, in which they work.
Voice 1: I don’t think it right when there are kids round here… I dunno, I think it’s a bit weird, I suppose, you know.
Voice 2 : I think it’s good, because that’s what Easter is about. I think they’ve done it well, in a modern way.
Voice 3: Quite a shock. It’s very powerful. Quite shocking as well.
Voice 4: I think it brings it much more into the present.
Voice 5: It’s not what you expect to see when you’re sitting outside eating breakfast.
Voice 6: Oh, it’s Christ, is it? We are wondering what it was all about? We weren’t quite sure.
Janet Wooten, minister of Union Chapel, Congregationalist church: It is the face of Christ made out of clothes. And I’m going to invite you to come to the front of the church here to take one of the pieces of the face of Christ, and to bury it there under the communion table, the altar. It has for me the significance of being in solidarity with so many people who, at the moment, with so much trouble in the world, are burying their loved ones. It also has the significance that we die with Christ, as Christians, and we rise with Christ, and so we’re burying our sinful nature.
Ali Eve, Icon: What we were trying to express was the feelings, the emotions of the women who were gathered around the cross of Christ. We explored shock, paralysis and a despairing terror.
Graham Kings: We’re exploring the story of the cross. The medieval mystery plays did it outside and in some ways, this an update on that.
Ali Eve: I think it has new meaning when you place it into a new environment. Christ is still walking that road, for the people who have sat at the tables, drinking and watching and taking it all in.
Graham Kings: I hope that this will lead to more art involvement in presenting the good news of Christ. Because when it is done imaginatively and evocatively and in a public place, then people ask questions.