Walking the Way of the Cross

The Church of England

Archbishop Stephen Cottrell, Dr Paula Gooder and Bishop Philip North reflect on the 15 Biblical Stations of the Cross.

The Stations of the Cross have formed part of Christian devotion for many centuries because they offer a particularly vivid way of following in the steps of Jesus on the way to the Cross. In the earliest days of Christian pilgrimage, visitors to Jerusalem would walk the path from Pilate’s house to Calvary. In the late fourteenth century, the Franciscan protectors of the holy places in Jerusalem put up images at which people would pause, reflect and pray. Eventually, those pilgrims brought the practice of walking a path of images from Christ’s passion back to their home countries, and many churches have images of the traditional Stations of the Cross on their walls. If you can, do also try to look at the powerful images of the biblical stations by Nicholas Markell. These are featured in the book Walking the Way of the Cross and the posters that go with it, and they can also be found online.

All Episodes

“He found me. And when he did, there was such a smile on his face. He said with earnest joy, that I was the one he had been looking for.” Stephen Cottrell reflects on the Fifteenth Station: Jesus risen from the dead, with readings and prayers from Philip North. Today's reading is Mark 16.4-8 This episode also includes the Conclusion.

Apr 3

8 min 18 sec

“Joseph of Arimathea slips into this story and then swiftly out again. No sooner has he been mentioned than he disappears. His appearance may be brief, but his contribution is incalculable.” Paula Gooder reflects on the Fourteenth Station: Jesus laid in the tomb, and leads today’s prayers and readings. Today's reading is Mark 15.46

Apr 2

4 min 28 sec

“The selfishness of sin is overcome by the selflessness of love. And our response? To try and love as Jesus loved. To offer our lives as a gift to the poor as Jesus offered his life to us who have nothing. If the cross is our only hope, then it will also be our lifestyle.” Philip North reflects on Thirteenth Station: Jesus dies on the cross, with readings and prayers from Stephen Cottrell. Today's reading is Mark 15.34–37

Apr 1

5 min 9 sec

“What connection is there between Jesus and Mary? She was his mother and he loved her so much that, even from the cross, he ensured she was cared for and looked after.” Paula Gooder reflects on the Twelfth Station: Jesus on the cross; his mother and his friend, with readings and prayers from Philip North. Today's reading is John 19.26, 27

Mar 31

4 min 51 sec

“He is waiting for me. Knowing that I must find this thing within myself. Not just penitence, but love. Not merely acquittal, but hope. ‘Remember me’, I say to him, ‘in that kingdom of yours.” Stephen Cottrell reflects on the Eleventh Station: Jesus promises the kingdom to the penitent thief, with readings and prayers from Paula Gooder. Today's reading is Luke 23.39–43

Mar 30

5 min 10 sec

“The God of all creation. The one whom angels worship. The Lord of the universe. Yet look at him now: stark naked, humiliated before a mocking crowd. Jesus has lost everything.” Philip North reflects on the Tenth Station: Jesus is crucified, with readings and prayers from Stephen Cottrell. Today's reading is Mark 15.24

Mar 29

4 min 34 sec

“Compassion swirls through the narrative. The women wept for what would happen to Jesus, but Jesus, even as the horror of his death loomed near, revealed that they were in even greater need of compassion than he was.” Paula Gooder reflects on the Ninth Station: Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem, with readings and prayers from Philip North. Today's reading is Luke 23.27-31.

Mar 28

4 min 56 sec

“Why Simon? Why was it him who was forced to undertake this demeaning, disgusting job of helping a condemned man to his place of death? There were numerous other people in the crowd. Why pick on Simon?” Philip North reflects on the Eighth Station: Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry the cross, with readings and prayers from Paula Gooder. Today's reading is Luke 23.27-31.

Mar 27

4 min 18 sec

“There is no easy way of carrying a cross. There is no handle. Its weight is sharp and crushing. Its meaning obvious.” Stephen Cottrell reflects on the Seventh Station: Jesus carries the cross, and leads today's prayers and reading. Today's reading is Mark 15.20

Mar 26

4 min 49 sec

“What begins in tragedy, ends in farce. He said he was a king, so dress him up as one: twist some thorns into a crown; and so that everyone can enjoy the joke, write it in three languages upon his cross: Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.” Stephen Cottrell reflects on the Sixth Station: Jesus scourged and crowned with thorns, with readings and prayers from Philip North. Today's reading is Mark 15.17-19.

Mar 25

4 min 53 sec

“The backdrop of someone as notorious for their cruelty as Pilate, throws the crowd’s baying for blood into sharp relief. Even Pilate could look reasonable in contrast to their pack-like instinct to destroy him.” Paula Gooder reflects on The Fifth Station: Jesus judged by Pilate and leads today's prayers and reading. Today's reading is Mark 15.14, 15.

Mar 24

4 min 28 sec

"Peter got it right for once. He said he didn’t know him. He said he wasn’t with him. That was how we were all feeling. We didn’t know him. We weren’t with him anymore. We thought he would vindicate himself." Stephen Cottrell reflects on the Fourth Station: Peter denies Jesus, and leads today's prayers and reading. Today's reading is Mark 14.72.

Mar 23

4 min 21 sec

"I'm not upset that you lied to me. I am upset that from now on I can't believe you." Philip North reflects on the Third Station, Jesus condemned by the Sanhedrin, and leads today's prayers and reading. Today's reading is Mark 14.55-64.

Mar 22

5 min 25 sec

"Why a kiss? It seems a very odd way to betray someone. Couldn’t Judas simply have pointed at Jesus?" Philip North reflects on the second Station, Jesus betrayed by Judas and arrested, with readings and prayers from Paula Gooder. Today's reading is Mark 14.43–46.

Mar 21

4 min 43 sec

"It is tempting to imagine that life was easy for Jesus: that so sure was he about who he was and who he was called to be that he faced suffering and death with calm and equanimity." Paula Gooder reflects on the first Station of the Cross, Jesus in agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, with readings and prayers from Stephen Cottrell. Today's reading is Mark 14.32-36.

Mar 20

4 min 51 sec

Join Philip North, Paula Gooder and Stephen Cottrell as they pray and reflect upon the 15 Biblical stations of the cross. The Stations of the Cross have formed part of Christian devotion for many centuries because they offer a particularly vivid way of following in the steps of Jesus on the way to the Cross. In the earliest days of Christian pilgrimage, visitors to Jerusalem would walk the path from Pilate’s house to Calvary. In the late fourteenth century, the Franciscan protectors of the holy places in Jerusalem put up images at which people would pause, reflect and pray. Eventually, those pilgrims brought the practice of walking a path of images from Christ’s passion back to their home countries, and many churches have images of the traditional Stations of the Cross on their walls. If you can, do also try to look at the powerful images of the biblical stations by Nicholas Markell. These are featured in the book Walking the Way of the Cross and the posters that go with it, and they can also be found online.

Mar 17

5 min 7 sec