SETTLE held its 11th Passion Play on Good Friday -with its best performance yet.

The event was organised by Churches Together in Settle and District.

As it passed through various parts of the town the audience and passers-by joined in. It is fresh for people every year.

Joe Dillon, 22, from Hellifield, played Jesus. For the Dillons, it was a family act as his father (Liam) acted the Roman Centurion and his mother (Diane) a temple worker - a witness at the trial.

The first scene was the last supper, held in St John's Methodist Church.

The actors and audience then walked to the Millennium Garden next to Booths Car Park, which made a good setting for the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus prayed whilst his disciples slept.

Settle market place made a dramatic setting for the Trial Scene with excellent performances by all, but especially by Caiaphas (Ray Jones) in front of the Town Hall, and Pilate, high up on the Shambles (acted by Michael Cullingworth - also the Producer/Director) and the chief Roman Guard/Centurion (Liam Dillon).

The Crucifixion Scene took place in the Churchyard of Holy Ascension Church and was very moving.

Hot-Cross buns were served afterwards in Holy Ascension.

The Revd Stephen Dawson of Churches Together (who played Peter) said: "Some actors retired this year but new volunteers meant that this special event went ahead.

"It was one of the best productions so far with a stirring performance by Joe Dillon who played Jesus with great presence.

"Every year Caiaphas (Ray Jones) struggles to maintain the uneasy peace between Rome and his own divided people but this year his desperation really came through.

"There was a simply outstanding performance by the Roman Centurion (Liam Dillon).

"A huge amount of energy is invested in Settle's Passion Play but I am already looking forward to the next one."

Wardrobe Mistress and Secretary of Churches Together in Settle and District, Sally Waterson said: "The most poignant part for me was Barabbas saying, 'He's taken my place. He's taken my place.' It reminded me that Jesus took my place too."

For information about Churches Together in Settle and District visit The Play included people from over seven different churches and others who do not attend church.

Locations of other Passion Plays in the UK can be seen at

- Judith Allinson