HUNDREDS of Christians took part in the annual Walk of Witness through Basingstoke town centre – a key feature of the Easter weekend.

Around 300 Christians attended the Good Friday event, organised by the Alliance of Basingstoke Churches (ABC).

The procession, led by the Salvation Army Band and the bearer of a large wooden cross, began at the United Reformed Church, in London Street, outside of which a short service was held.

Bob Smith, chair of ABC, welcomed those gathered before leading the crowd in prayers and readings.

The gathering then made their way in a silent procession down Wote Street, through Festival Place and The Malls, before an open-air service with a difference in Castle Square, The Malls.

While a hymn was being sung, a Jesus-like figure dressed in a robe appeared from within the crowd and, as he did so, several other members of the crowd stripped off their coats to reveal red T-shirts and began hurling abuse at him.

They began screaming at him, but were ignored and gradually they stopped their taunts and ended up kneeling in front of the figure.

The flash-mob style theatrics were organised by the Wessex Christian Fellowship.

Dr Andy Taylor, of the Town Centre Community Church, said: “It was very moving and effective. There were several people with tears in their eyes by the end.”

He said of the event: “I think it was one of the best we have ever done. It’s a good way for everyone to meet up, catch up and mark Good Friday.”

Dr Taylor gave a short talk after the street theatre and people were then invited to Church Cottage for tea, coffee and hot cross buns.