Hill-top cross event marks Good Friday in Sunderland

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HUNDREDS of people braved the cold to worship at an Easter tradition.

The annual raising of the cross on Tunstall Hill once again attracted Wearsiders in their droves.

Volunteer's erecting the cross on Tunstall Hill for this year's Easter service.

Volunteer's erecting the cross on Tunstall Hill for this year's Easter service.

They climbed to the summit of the landmark for the Good Friday pilgrimage.

A service took place after the cross was carried to the top of the hill and put up before the crowd.

It will remain in place until Monday morning.

Among those who made the trek was the Reverend Chris Howson from Sunderland Minster.

“It was the most staggering thing to see up to a thousand people bear worship on the hill,” he said.

“I’m new to Sunderland, so this was my first time going, but it will definitely be a must every year from now on.”

The Reverend John McManus from St Gabriel’s Church in Barnes led the service.

Rev Howson said: “There were churches from across the city involved, including Baptist, Catholic and Anglican Methodist.

“Me and my family were thrilled by the whole thing. It’s a really powerful event.”

Yesterday also saw the sealing of a specially constructed Mongolian yurt as a symbol of Christ’s tomb.

The huge canvas and wood structure, which is in place at Sunderland Minster, will be reopened at sunrise tomorrow to celebrate Christ’s Resurrection.

The structure, which was created for the church, has been used as a focal point for celebrations and prayers throughout the week.

The yurt reopening ceremony will take place at 5.45am tomorrow.