Q&A: Ruby Stuckey, of Churches Together

Ruby Stuckey
Ruby Stuckey
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Ruby Stuckey Ruby talks about the meaning of Easter ahead of Good Friday’s March of Witness in Grantham.

For many, Easter is about chocolate eggs and hot cross buns but Grantham church stalwarts like Ruby Stuckey continue to spread the word about its Christian origins.

Ruby and her colleagues in the local branch of Churches Together will again be parading through the town centre on Good Friday morning for The March of Witness in a ritual which has taken place for almost half-a-century.

Dozens of representatives from Grantham churches will gather at St Wulfram’s Church at 10.15am, from where they will walk to St Peter’s Hill, outside the Guildhall, when the Mayor, Councillor Ian Stokes, will read the Bible lesson. The party will then move on to the Isaac Newton Shopping Centre, where the Rev Andy Scholes will give the address.

The march is one of a number of Ecumenical events organised in the town every year - they also include the Easter Day dawn communion in Wyndham Park, the Prisoners Week Service in November and the popular ‘Big Sing’ outdoor carol service at Christmas.

The primary aim of Churches Together is to bring Christians of every church tradition into a unity of fellowship in Christ in order to proclaim the gospel more effectively. They support Christian outreach in the community and promote united acts of worship.

Is The March of Witness as popular now as in years gone by?

We expect to have 80 to 100 people taking part but the distance we used to march was much longer. It is very disappointing that the county council no longer allows us to use the streets and that the police will not direct the traffic. It’s a shame because I feel we have a right of free speech and a right to use the roads in town to march on.

How will you get the message out of the real Christian meaning of Easter?

One of the things we will be doing is to hand out hot cross buns wrapped in serviettes which explain why we eat hot cross buns at Easter. It’s important we keep the tradition going. We live in a secular society now when the shops will all be open. In the early years when the march first took place, of course, all of the shops were closed over Easter.

How long have you lived in Grantham?

I was brought up in the town and attended Kesteven and Grantham Girls’ School. I trained as a teacher and taught in London before coming home to teach in my native Grantham.

How did you come to be involved with Churches Together?

I’ve been a member of Harrowby Lane Methodist Church in Grantham since the 1980s. I became a lay preacher there and as such I saw it as my role to get involved with Churches Together.

What support is there for Churches Together in Grantham today?

It is a very strong movement with 12 to 15 churches involved in our activities. Like a lot of organisations these days, however, we sometimes struggle to fill positions on the committee.

We are looking to appoint a secretary at present and we would be delighted to speak to anyone who is interested in the role.