An Abingdon Passion Play information meeting took place, with around 70 people attending, at Trinity Conduit Centre last night. The committee members, easily spotted in their red sweatshirts, explained that the play will be performed outdoors in the Abbey Gardens on June 22nd, with two separate shows. They said that it will be free as a big community participation event for the people of Abingdon and the area. It will be the fourth Abingdon Passion Play, part of a tradition of passion plays that started with the play in Oberammergau in 1634.
The director talked about the stage and promenade areas for different parts of the play, plus the different scenes, and musical backing. Actors for roles like Jesus have already been chosen, and others are still open. If you’re interested in acting, you can go to a rehearsal evening, and the director will give you a chance to showcase your skills. There are 12 main parts and 28 backing parts. (Acting rehearsals – Fridays from 9th Feb 7:30 to 9:30 pm at All Saints Church or Mondays from 12th Feb 7 pm to 9 pm at Our Lady and St Edmund Church Parish Centre. Singing Rehearsals – Every 2 weeks on Thursday (next one 22nd Feb) 7:30 – 9:15 pm, at St Nicolas Church).
But acting isn’t the only way to get involved! They need volunteers for everything from helping out with security to sewing costumes. I’m helping in my small way to publicise things but https://www.abingdonpassionplay.co.uk/ and social media will have much more.
It takes place on the same day as the Mayor of Ock Street ceremony. So that is going to make it a busy day in Abingdon. And you can catch both.
The pictures show the Abingdon Passion Play in 2013, 2016 and 2019.
Preparations for the Abingdon Passion Play are underway and the organisers took time out to pose for a photograph. They are at the early stages and having done most of the auditions and will be starting rehearsals on January 4th 2024. The Abingdon Passion Play has been previously staged in 2013, 2016, and 2019. The passion has been shown in different ways. We look forward to 2024 and a different vision.
Breaking with tradition, Mayor Gwyneth Lewis opted for Trinity Church, the church of her chaplain, Deacon Selina Nisbett, for this year’s civic service. While the service was less formal than a full civic service, lacking the use of the Mace, it was still well attended by the town councillors. The councillors processed into the church at the beginning of the service.
The service began when the Mayor’s cadet read an advent reading, and the Mayor lit the second of the five candles on the advent crown.
The Fijian Fellowship Choir from Dalton Barracks sang two worship songs during the service.
Deacon Selina Nisbett, the Mayor’s chaplain, spoke on building a ‘highway of hope,’ drawing on the reading from Isaiah 40 by the Mayor about ‘Make straight the way for the Lord‘ . Selina encouraged the congregation to focus on their own ‘stretches’ of the path to peace. The service concluded with the National Anthem, ‘God Save the King.’
Afterwards people went through to the Conduit Centre for coffee and mince pies. This picture shows the Mayor, Deacon Selina, and one of the members of the Fijian Choir.
Five memorial stones were laid 150 years ago to mark the foundation of Trinity Church, Abingdon, and today there was a special service to celebrate.
Pictures of some of the previous ministers, and laymen, were displayed at the back of the church.
Rev. Ian Griffiths, the current Minister, led the service.
Rev. Richard Bittleston, the previous minister, played the organ.
Rev. Colin Thompson, another previous minister, wrote one of the hymns used during the service.
Ministers generally only stay for five or ten years at Trinity. Rev. Ian will have been at Trinity for ten years and will move on to pastures new next year. It was announced that he will be succeeded by Rev. Georgina, who will be the next minister at Trinity and All Saints in Abingdon.