Local traditions - the Good Friday service

Springhill is in parish of Newchurch St Nicholas which lies about half a mile away and dates from 1511. It nestles at the foot of a hill called Seat Naze.

In the 1970s St Nicholas and the nearby Methodist and Baptist churches (including Sion Cloughfold in Springhill) met on Good Friday for a united service followed by carrying a cross up Seat Naze where it was erected. This was then followed by a walk, usually over the moors to Burnley.

The cross remained on the top of the hill for 40 days until Ascension and was clearly seen over much of Rossendale. The view from Edgeside, with the sun setting behind the cross, was particularly beautiful.

Then in the early 1980s the climb up the hill stopped. Rumour had it that the new vicar of Newchurch chose to change his milk supplier and the farmer retaliated by banning access over his land - the right of way over Seat Naze does not go to the summit. Whatever the truth of this the climb was replaced by a united service in the village green where the cross is erected until Ascension Day as before. This has continued for 30 years now and has been respected with no acts of vandalism, but it’s not the same as having the cross on the hill.

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(Newchurch St Nicholas and the Boar’s Head in the background)

A little further along to the west of Seat Naze is Saunder Height. About 4 years ago the residents of a farm there placed a cross in their field which remains there all year. This is seen over Springhill, Newchurch Road and Rawtenstall and again is lovely with the sun behind it.
Dawn and sunset respectively, pictures courtesy of Suzie Elkington.


Easter sunrise thumbnail sun over rossendale thumbnail


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