DESPITE the freezing temperatures over the Easter period, large numbers turned out for two special services organised by the town’s ecumenical group, Portadown Churches Together.
The first was the carrying of two crosses into the town centre - allied to a short service - on Good Friday morning. And the second was the now traditional Easter Sunday ‘dawn’ service at Craigavon Lakes.
Around 100 occupied the town plaza just before noon on Friday, with the service preceded by a march from various churches - they included Seagoe and St Mark’s Church of Ireland, the three Methodist Churches, St John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church and Armagh Road Presbyterian. Clergy and church members took part. There was also a Quaker presence.
The crosses were carried from St John’s and the worshippers gathered in the plaza for a 10-minutes service, conducted by the Rev Ken Robinson of Epworth Methodist - it consisted of a Bible reading, a prayer and a hymn, after which there was a walk down the town and back up again before the group dispersed.
The thermometer was even lower at 6.45am on Sunday, and again the main denominations were represented. It began with the host for the year, the Rev Christina Bradley of Armagh Road, climbing to the top of the small hillock near the water sports centre where she lit the Easter fire on a tripod and the Act of Worship began.
Again, there was a hymn, an Easter reading and prayers, with a representatives of the Society of Friends (Quakers) speaking the epilogue, ending with the sign of peace.
Warm refreshments were provided by Fr Michael O’Dwyer and members of St John’s - very welcome in the sub-zero temperatures.
There was, among the crowd, guests from Spain, and they were astounded when super-fit morning joggers bounced past - wearing shorts, despite the chill wind and low temperatures!