Bishop David, together with Revd Canon Nick Buck and Revd Rachel Beck from St Giles in Lincoln and colleagues from the Methodist Church will be hitting the road in the ‘GodPoD’ on Tuesday (16 April at 6-7.30pm) to enact the Passion Play – the trial, suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This forms part of their Easter celebrations and usual ministry in the St Giles area.

On the day the GodPoD will make its usual three stops (Coleridge Gardens, Swift Gardens and Addison Drive) and the play will last 15 minutes. There are four scenes which the ‘actors’ will perform from behind one of the windows in the bus, whilst on the street Revd Rachel Beck will narrate the story in specially devised rhyming couplets and John Lawson, the Eden Team Manager at St Giles Methodist Church, will encourage audience participation!

The scenes and cast will be as follows:

Scene One – Judas’ betrayal – Judas will be played by Lincoln, a young boy from St Giles, and Jesus by Superintendent Minister Alan Swann who will also be driving the bus.

Scene Two – Pontius Pilot hands down his judgement (Canon Nick Buck from St Giles Parish Church)

Scene Three – The veil of the temple is torn in two - Jesus (Rev Alan Swann as before) and the Roman Soldier (Bishop David)

Scene Four – The Empty Tomb – Rev Dr Helen Hooley, from St Giles Methodist Church,  is playing St Mary Magdalene.

Bishop David said: “The Anglican and Methodist churches on St Giles have a good relationship, and it is wonderful to be all working together on this Passion Play to reach out to the local community.  This is also part of our campaign of intentional evangelism for 2019 and Bishop Christopher, Bishop Nicholas and myself will be heading up a number of events where we will be meeting and talking to people from around the diocese about faith, which we are all looking forward to.”

The GodPod, a single decker bus, has travelled around Lincoln and surrounding villages since 2006; it was initially an initiative of the Lincoln Methodist Circuit and it is now a project managed by Lincolnshire Youth Mission. The intention of the project is to provide a safe space for young people on the streets; to be incarnational, to be a constant presence and provide positive role models in the community, especially where the young people are.

The GodPod serves hot and cold drinks, has a gaming zone with two Xboxes, colourful lighting, and the ability to play music – there was even a karaoke evening recently, which proved popular not only with young people, but attracted grandparents too!

After the passion play, the gathered crowd will be invited into the bus to enjoy a doughnut, a cup of hot chocolate, and to chat or to play on one of the Xboxes.

The ‘Bishop on a Bus’ evening has been jointly planned by the Methodist and Anglican churches on St Giles, and is one of many examples of ecumenical working on the estate.  There is a good relationship between the two churches and joint excitement about the recent launch of an Eden Team on the estate, based at St Giles Methodist Church, who are ‘urban missionaries’ working to see lives transformed through knowing Jesus.