Leigh Hatts  

Palm Sunday processions

Woodcut in the March Magnificat prayer book

This weekend we start Holy Week.

Sunday is Palm Sunday when the main church service begins with an outdoor procession.

This is the liturgical re-enactment of Christ’s entry into Jerusalem on a donkey. The original route will be walked this afternoon by a large ecumenical procession faithfully going downhill and through the nearest gateway into walled Old Jerusalem

But where our own procession starts in our parish is to us Bethany or maybe nearby Bethphage where Christ mounted the donkey.

Our church will become our Jerusalem for the week where we recall the events of the first Holy Week in real time.



Southwark Cathedral‘s procession starts in Borough Market at 11am.

St Bartholomew the Great in Smithfield has its gathering just inside Bart’s Hospital gatehouse at 11am.

All Hallows-by-the-Tower starts at 11am in St Dunstan in the East (now a ruin and garden) in Idol Lane EC3. The procession will cross  the London Landmarks Half Marathon course on its way to Tower Hill.

Holy Trinity Sloane Street meets in Sloane Square at 10.45am.

St Mary’s, Primrose Hill meets on top of Primrose Hill at 10am to walk appropriately downhill to the church.


Winchester Cathedral congregation keeps a 900 year old tradition by gathering at the castle outside the West Gate at 10am to walk downhill to the cathedral.


Gloucester Cathedral meets at St Mary de Lode Church at 10.15am.


St Albans Cathedral congregation meets at 9.30am by the Clock Tower in the High Street. Expect a donkey.


At Ripon Cathedral the Blessing of Palms is in the market square at 10am with the new Bishop of Ripon Helen-Ann presiding. The procession, with Lily the donkey, makes its way along Kirkgate to the cathedral as hymns are sung .

York Minister meeting point for Blessing of Palms is St Helen’s Square (outside Betty’s tearooms) at 9.45am before the procession along Stonegate to the Minster.


CLOCKS CHANGE Don’t miss a procession. Clocks change this Saturday night. They go forward.

DATE CHANGE The 25 March date is usually the Annunciation but this year that celebration is postponed for two weeks until Monday 9 April.

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