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Christ in the Centre in Leicester City Centre
By John Florance
Presenter, BBC Leicester

Christ in the Centre - Copyright

Christ in the Centre, the huge re-enactment of the passion story, has been a feature of Good Fridays in the city centre for a number of years.

This year's presentation, which takes place in the Leicester City Centre, is now well into its rehearsal period.

I spoke to James Burke-Dunsmore who is, as always, playing the part of Christ and directing the whole presentation.

James says the production changes, different aspects of the scriptural story being emphasised each year.

He also emphasised that the audience is a vital part of the success of the drama. The crowds really do energise the actors giving them a lift and a sense of the importance of what they are involved in.

As we were on the air, I had a message from Jonathan Wheeler, who is intimately involved with the production of Christ in the Centre.

He informs us that the City Council announced during the last few days that it cannot provide the £3,000 grant it has given in previous years.

The Leicester City Council's help is vital to the event and without that help the event would be impossible to run
Jonathan Wheeler, Organiser

"While this is a blow - and we'd appeal to the public and churches to ask them to 'fill the gap' - this doesn't mean we've fallen out with the Council.

"Far from it: we work so closely and constructively with the Council's excellent staff in 1,001 other ways. Their help is vital to the event; without that help the event would be impossible to run!

"But the Council's financial state is well known, and we entirely understand and respect their position, and we remain in as close contact with them as ever."

Help and cash wanted

Practical help as well as cash is also needed.

The production needs more stewards. It requires a minimum of 40, but, says Jonathan, "We would feel safer/happier if we had 50+ in case we get a bigger crowd."

The stewards' workload is small but vital: they need to attend one of two training sessions - being held in the evenings on Wednesday 10 March and Thursday 18 March (venue in Leicester to be confirmed) and be present on the day.

More details can be had from Canon Barry Naylor at Leicester Cathedral Centre on 0116 248 7471 or Jonathan Wheeler on 0116 220 9318 or visit the Christ in the Centre website.

Christ in the Centre 2010 will be held on Friday 2 April 2010, starting at 10:00 in St Peter's Square, Highcross and finishing in Humberstone Gate at 12:00.

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