Bishop of Durham the Right Revd Paul Butler helped a historic County Durham church community mark the Passover story with a special meal and Holy Communion on Thursday March 24 at the Escomb Saxon Inn. Bishop Paul led the Holy Communion after the meal.
The Passover, which is based on the traditional Jewish Passover Seder but adapted for a Christian congregation, tells the story of Israel’s deliverance from Egypt where they were in slavery under the Pharaoh.
Elisheva Mechanic, Priest in Charge at Escomb Saxon Church, Etherley St Cuthbert, Witton Park St Paul’s, Hamsterley St James and Witton le Wear St Philip and St James, said: “The Passover helps us to think of our own deliverance from the slavery of sin through Jesus Christ, particularly pointing to his death on the Cross on Good Friday.
“It includes an explanation of the Last Supper and we enjoyed a meal together which was catered for us by the Saxon Inn.
“There are several blessings, including the lighting of the festal candles, the blessing on the parsley which reminds us of the greening of the spring and of other aspects of the story, and the unleavened bread which reminds us that deliverance came so swiftly to Israel that there was no time for the dough to rise.
“Jesus would have used unleavened bread at the Last Supper. The Passover celebration helps us to appreciate the Jewish background to our Christian faith and the roots of our Holy Communion.”