Easter service to take place in Sunderland park

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A PARK will host a celebration which will see churches from across the city come together to mark Good Friday.

The Songs of Praise service in the bandstand Mowbray Park, Sunderland, will start at 1pm tomorrow and last for about an hour.

Reverend David Hands, who will be among the leaders of the service, said: “All people from across the city are welcome to come along.

“We’re looking forward to it and we hope for a good turn out.”

Sunderland’s West End Churches Together are among those involved in the day.

The Salvation Army Band, based at the church’s citadel in Cairo Street, Hendon, will provide the music and the city’s deputy mayor, Councillor Barry Curran and deputy mayoress Carol Curran, will be among those to attend.

The event was set up in place of the Good Friday Procession of Witnesses, which was held in Sunderland for 200 years until 2010, when a shake up of health and safety rules put an end to the parade.

The march had started from Rutland Street in Millfield, down Hylton Road, St Mark’s Road and Chester Road before heading to the Civic Centre, where hymns were sung.

It once drew in tens of thousands, but numbers fell to about 400 before the changes brought about its cancellation.