Bishop Auckland 'Passion Play' Easter story re-enactment draws large crowd after two-year delay

The Bishop Auckland Passion Play finally took place today after two years of delay due to Covid.

An estimated 1,400 people were in attendance over two afternoon shows in which the Easter story was re-enacted at the Market Place.

A cast of more than 50 volunteers and a backstage team of more than 30 drawn from Bishop Auckland and surrounding areas were involved.

The first performance at 12 noon was opened by the Lord Lieutenant of County Durham, Mrs Sue Snowdon and was be closed by the Rt Revd Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham.

The second, 3pm performance was attended by Bishop Auckland MP Dehenna Davidson and closed by Canon Father Dennis Tindall of St Mary & St Winifrid, Bishop Auckland.

Chair of the Bishop Auckland Passion Play Racheal Mastes told ITV News Tyne Tees the event was worth the wait.

"It’s an amazing experience," she said. "The journey we’ve had, it has been challenging, but it’s been so rewarding. 

"We’ve got over 150 volunteers from different areas of our community - it’s not just churches. It’s been a real community engagement."