The last Passion Play in Bolton was in 2016 with over 3,500 spectators. Fortunately, the heavy rain forecast held off till the event finished. We worked with eleven primary schools, through the “Create Bolton Art competition. The town centre chaplaincy partnered to help display this work around the town in the shops and organize the arts competition. We had some beautiful and thoughtful work that depicted Easter hope.
The event had over 170 dedicated volunteers involved which helped it run really smoothly. The contributed in excess of 5,500 volunteer hours. Feedback from those involved suggested that confidence had significantly increased due to being involved and developing new skills and friendships. We worked with 120 churches, who provided support in offering space, publicity, funding and prayer. We had 5 patrons who came from across the church leadership in Bolton – including the Bishop and deans.
We worked with 11 local companies were employed to provide aspects such as the stage, merchandise and printing of publicity materials. Local businesses and shops, particularly on and around Victoria Square were also very supportive, and benefited from increased tourism in the town. The Passion made a good contribution to the local economy though spending the budget largely within Bolton.
We have developed some 15 great partnerships across the town such as Bolton FM, Bolton council, Bolton Interfaith and Create Bolton are but a few. The council relationship with the events team, is worthy of a mention as they have been invaluable in the support they gave throughout the project – despite times of council cut backs. We were also very pleased that local media outlets (Bolton FM, The Bolton News and BBC Radio Manchester), as well as Bolton Council, assisted with publicity through interviews and numerous articles.