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World News

Safety concerns prevent iconic display of Christian Easter crosses in Somerset

by Lydia Davies

For the first time in several years, iconic Easter crosses will not grace the top of a knoll in Somerset, a tradition that has highlighted Easter week every Palm Sunday.

Visible from the M5 motorway, the three wooden crosses have served as a seasonal landmark on Brent Knoll but will be absent this year because of recent bad weather and a shortage of volunteers.

Churches Together in Burnham and Highbridge, which is responsible for the display, cited safety concerns for participants as the main reason for the decision. Pat Nicholls, the group's chairman, acknowledged the disappointment but emphasised prioritising safety, especially given the event's popularity among the elderly community.

Speaking to BBC News, he said: "The knoll can become very slippery and unsafe if there's a lot of rain beforehand".

He added that difficulties in securing sufficient help also played a part in the tough decision to cancel this year's cross installation.

Instead, the community is being invited to take part in a Good Friday Walk of Witness on Good Friday, beginning at Our Lady and The English Martyrs Church on the town's Highbridge Road.

During the procession, participants will carry a cross through Pier Street and along the Esplanade to St Andrew’s Church, making stops to read from the Passion story.

Rev Rob Howlett from the local Baptist Church will lead this contemplative journey.

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