26th May, 2019

From Mtwara to Redditch with love - and in time for Easter celebrations too

Ross Crawford 18th Apr, 2019

HOT Crossed buns and palm leaves which came to Redditch via its African twin town of Mtwara will be on offer at this year’s Good Friday Walk of Witness this Friday, April 19.

The walk, which will see volunteers bearing a cross, starts at Redditch Baptist Church near the top of Easemore Road at 10.30am before journeying to the Bandstand, HoW College, the Market Place, Town Hall and Kingfisher Centre, before reaching the Church Green West War Memorial outside St Stephen’s around 11.30am.

There will be stops along the way for readings and hymn singing, with the palm crosses from Mtwara and Hot Crossed buns offered to any who wishes to receive them.

Everyone is welcome to join in the walk.

The route taken by the palm crosses.

The Reverend Steve Levett, Minister of Emmanuel Church in the Ecumenical Centre, and chair of the Redditch Churches Together group, spoke of his surprise at finding the unexpected link with Mtwara in the African country of Tanzania.

“It is a tradition to give crosses made from palm tree leaves to those attending church services on the Sunday before Easter,” he said.

In recent years we offer them as a gift to any of the public who wish to receive them during the annual Good Friday Walk of Witness, when people join together for a guided walk around the town centre as a way of publically remembering the day Christians recall the death of Jesus.

‘When we ordered the palm crosses, on opening the box we were amazed to find a paper indicating the route they had taken to reach the UK.

“This revealed they had been made in Tanzania before being taken to the nearby port of Mtwara for processing before starting their long journey to Redditch.

“The penny dropped that we were obtaining our crosses via one of Redditch’s twin towns!

“It feels fitting that by sourcing the palm crosses we are contributing to the incomes of at least a few folk in and around one of the international towns with which we seek to be in relationship, and it helps to keep them in our minds.”

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