“The sun was shining on us.”
Worshippers young and old turned out in full force for traditional religious Walks of Witness through Preston city centre and Leyland.
The Preston parade, which dates back centuries, started at St George’s Church in Lune Street, went up Lune Street, along Fishergate and on to the Flag Market.
Shoppers stopped in their tracks and looked on as a huge wooden cross was carried through the city followed by worshippers from across the Christian faith.
Led by the Vicar of Preston, Fr Timothy Lipscomb, the walkers arrived on the Flag Market shortly before midday, with around 250 onlookers.
The cross was then held throughout the Good Friday ecumenical service at the war memorial, near the Harris Museum and Art Gallery.
Readings were delivered by church leaders including Catholic priest Father Joe Duggan.
The Salvation Army band performed a series of hymns.
Fr Timothy was joined by other church leaders.
He said: “The fact that leaders from all denominations attended shows our unity as a city.
“It was lovely, very respectful and even the nearby fair stopped its roundabout while the service took place.
“I carried the cross and it is very large and heavy – it gives an idea of what it must have been like for Jesus.
“While Good Friday was a day of darkness, the sun always seems to shine when we carry out walks of witness in Preston.
“Perhaps it means God is smiling on us and has forgiven us.”
The Mayor of South Ribble, Coun Dorothy Gardner, and her consort, husband Melvyn, attended the walk in Leyland, which was organised by Churches Together.
The walk led off from outside the Leyland Fish and Chip shop in Church Road and finished at St Andrew’s Church in Worden Lane for a service at 10.30am.