STUDENTS carried a cross through the streets of Sunderland to raise awareness of those less fortunate this Easter.
Young people from City of Sunderland College designed the symbolic cross, which was painted with themes of oppression, and carried it from the college’s Bede Centre to Sunderland Minster.
The cross, which was painted by artist Maria Makepeace, will be displayed at the church throughout the Easter holidays.
Electrical installation student, Kyle Maven, 17, who is based at the Hylton Skills Campus, said: “We hope the carrying of this cross brings home the wider meaning of what Easter is really about and how all kinds of oppression demean and dehumanise people. Christians take a stand to challenge oppression and strive for a better, fairer world.”
Students at all the college’s centres were asked questions about oppression and came up with a long list of groups who are oppressed including children, child-soldiers, women, uneducated and illiterate people, elderly people, disabled people, refugees and asylum seekers.
They then worked with Maria to design the cross.
Reverend Martin Anderson, Minster priest, said: “Today at Sunderland Minster we are delighted to be able to welcome this Cross of Liberation – a symbol of the brokenness of humanity and a reminder of the significance of Christ’s suffering - that the world may come to know redemption and healing beyond oppression and pain.
“It is wonderful that the students and staff at City of Sunderland College have taken the time to reflect on the story of Easter and the relevance of the message of Jesus in our lives.
“As we remind ourselves of his sacrifice 2000 years ago, we stand in Christ-like solidarity with those who suffer throughout our world today, and hear again his words of love for those who breed violence and fear.”