30th May 2024

A Superb Depiction of the Wondrous Cross


An estimated 2000 people gathered in Rosalind Park, Bendigo on Good Friday to see a live theatrical performance of the trial, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The Way of the Cross was produced through the commitment of many churches from throughout the City of Bendigo working together, including Bendigo Baptist Church (BBC). The production was a highlight of the Bendigo Easter Festival.

Around 40-50 people were involved in the production, including committee members, directors, cast and backstage crew, and organised the performance in just eight weeks under the expert guidance of director Julie Lovell, from BBC.

The first scene depicted Jesus washing his disciples’ feet, with the retelling covering the Passover meal, the garden at Gethsemane, Jesus’ arrest and trial, followed by Calvary and the resurrection. It aimed to present an historically-accurate story that portrayed the depths of love God gave to humankind and His message of hope for the world.


Publicity manager Judienne Santos said church volunteers were on hand to answer people’s questions as they responded to the story.

“We made sure people had a way to talk to someone if they had question about who Jesus was, or the story. It presented a clear message and we provided ways for people to connect and explore further. The crowd seemed very receptive to what they were hearing and seeing. Their applause at the end was welcoming and warm, and feedback that the committee received was very positive. Many churches in Bendigo were represented in the crowd and I know there were people who didn’t have faith there as well who responded positively. For example, we heard of someone sitting next to a family who didn’t have faith but the story made sense to them, and they are thinking of coming along to church because of what they had seen. There were also some great conversations generated in response to the show.”



The church was excited to be approached by the City of Bendigo initially, to perform the show every year – which The Way of The Cross committee hopes to do despite the estimated production costs being very high. Fortunately the costs were covered for this year’s production through donations and the support of volunteers and local churches. The committee also began raising the funds for 2025, as some funds must be available in advance in order to commit to doing the production.

“It’s not often that you get a secular council asking churches to represent at a major event. The church felt it was an incredible opportunity to spread the gospel as part of the massive four-day festival – it’s huge, with people from all the surrounding towns coming to Bendigo. We would be remiss to not take up this opportunity to spread the gospel. We’re very blessed to have a lot of volunteers from many churches involved. Some things are donated but we’re never sure each year what will be donated and what volunteer efforts will be offered. We are always looking for Christian people to form the cast and crew – people are very welcome to put up their hand to audition, especially those who enjoy acting. Jesus had 12 disciples and it’s sometimes hard to find men! We rehearse one night a week, with a few intensive rehearsals in the leadup to performances as well.”

For more details on the Way of The Cross cast, crew or donations, visit thewayofthecross-bendigo.com or the Facebook page. If your church is interested in how to produce The Way of the Cross in your City, contact Julie Lovell at Julie.lovell@westnet.com.au

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