The Hornchurch Passion Play is the longest-standing in Essex. It involves the whole community of Hornchurch with all its different cultural backgrounds and Christian denominations. The Hornchurch Passion Play has been produced four times since it was first conceived in 1993 by Freddy Sayer. The next Play is planned for 2020.
The emphasis of the play is on the immediacy and relevance of the message for us all today. Rather than a straightforward costume drama, telling of events long ago, The Hornchurch Passion has a contemporary feel that makes people involved in the action. At any moment the person standing next to a “Spectator” may turn out to be a recognisable Character from the Easter Drama and the crowd are likely to be bullied and shoved rudely aside by frightened young Roman soldiers, kitted out in modern combat fatigues, wielding their riot control batons. The action swirls around the green and amongst the throng of onlookers so that those who have come to watch cannot help but become participants and be caught up in the events unfolding around them. This experience causes everyone to look again at what, for many, is a familiar narrative and really examine afresh the personalities, motivations and issues involved in this re-telling of the greatest story ever told.