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Actor Charlie Hardwick to complement Durham Cathedral’s digital Easter plans 

10 March 2021

Actor Charlie Hardwick, is to complement Durham Cathedral’s online Holy Week and Easter plans by recording poetry by Paul Claudel, as part of a performance of Marcel Dupré’s great organ work ‘Le Chemin de la Croix' for Passion Sunday.

The actor from Wallsend, who is best known for her roles in Emmerdale and Ackley Bridge, will partner with the cathedral’s Master of the Choristers and Organist, Daniel Cook and Sub-Organist, Joseph Beech for the pre-recorded performance. The organ recital will be broadcast to the cathedral’s Youtube and Facebook channels on Sunday 21 March at 5.30pm.

Charlie said: “If someone were to have told me as a little girl at Sunday School, that someday I would be delivering an epic poem at Durham Cathedral for Lent during a global pandemic, I’d of never believed them. I was delighted to be asked to perform a piece that is not only extraordinary, but visceral and brutal, alongside the wonderful Durham Cathedral organists. I thank those at the cathedral for choosing this piece in par-ticular, as it prompts us to remember the harsh reality of the Passion of Christ. I trust that it won’t feel too strange recording this for a digital audience, given how much time I’ve been spending on Zoom recently!”

The performance is part of Durham Cathedral’s wider digital offering for Holy Week and Easter, which includes a Palm Sunday service, evening compline services, and special services for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday.  Some services are ac-companied by music from Durham Cathedral Choir and contain contributions from a mix-ture of Durham Cathedral clergy and Archdeacons and Bishops from across the North East. The Maundy Thursday Chrism service at 11am is worth a specific mention as it will include an address from the Bishop of Durham and will be live-streamed via the Diocese of Durham Facebook page.  These services will run alongside regular daily services, both online or in-person. Find all service timings on the cathedral’s website.

The vast majority of special services are online, either pre-recorded and broadcast to the cathedral’s Facebook and Youtube channels or live-streamed via the cathedral’s Facebook page. It is hoped that a small congregation may be permitted at the two services of Sung Eucharist on Easter Day (9.30am and 11.30am). If so, a limited number of tickets will be allocated by ballot to members of the cathedral’s Community Roll (the cathedral equiva-lent of a parish roll) and volunteers only. More details will follow in due course.

The Very Reverend Andrew Tremlett, Dean of Durham said: “We are inviting people all over the world to join us online to mark the holiest week of the Christian year, which be-gins on Palm Sunday and culminates on Easter Day, as we walk the way of the cross with Our Lord, stand at the foot of his cross, and celebrate his glorious resurrection.

“We are thrilled to have the involvement of clergy from different communities in the re-gion to enrich our worship schedule this year. It was important to have this representa-tion, given many of the smaller churches in the diocese are presently closed. Everyone is welcome to join in with worship online, whether or not you usually worship at the cathe-dral. Jesus’ love is inclusive and universal and it is our duty to share that message.”

In the run up to Easter, the cathedral’s online Lent resources will continue to be available. These include live-streamed Prayers at the Pietà every Friday at 12.15pm; pre-recorded talks and resources from the Dean of St George’s College in Jerusalem every Wednesday; as well as live-streamed Lenten addresses from cathedral clergy during Evensong every Sunday at 3.30pm.