Hundreds turn out for Good Friday raising of the cross on Sunderland's Tunstall Hill

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Worshippers witnessed a historic Easter religious tradition in glorious sunshine.

The raising of the cross on Sunderland's Tunstall Hill has been a Good Friday event for more than 50 years.

The raising of the cross event on Tunstall Hill in Sunderland, Friday, March 25, 2016.

The raising of the cross event on Tunstall Hill in Sunderland, Friday, March 25, 2016.

After last year's ceremony was blighted by wet and windy weather, 2016's saw more than 200 people turn out for the event amid clear skies and blazing sun.

Once the 12ft-high wooden cross was nailed into place, international students from Sunderland University performed a passion play to remember the crucifixion of Jesus.

Prayers were also said.

Father Marc Lyden-Smith, of St Mary's Church in Sunderland city centre, told the Echo: "It's good to see so many people from the community attending, many from different denominations, working together as one.

"This is the 53rd year the event has been held and it just seems to grow and grow.

"It shows that there an appetite for faith in our city."

Among those there to see the raising was Aidan Kelly, who worships at St Cecilia's Church, in Ryhope.

"I've been coming to this for 25 years now," said Mr Kelly, 81, of Tunstall Vale.

"It's something I always look forward to and if it's a reasonably good day like today then plenty of people come along.

"Last year we had awful weather but today you can see for miles into the other counties."