One of Jesus’s miracles will be replicated in Southsea, a church has revealed.
Five thousand freshly-battered fish in bread rolls will be handed out to visitors at a free fun day held by St Jude's and five other churches at a free festival on Castle Field in Southsea.
Members of the public will be handed the free food, along with a copy of the story of the miracle in comic-book form. The #Feeding5K event happens from 11.30am until 4pm on Saturday, September 7. It will be a reminder of the only miracle that is recorded in all four of the gospels.
The Portsmouth diocese says that this initiative, which was inspired by similar events organised by the Bible Society, is designed to encourage passers-by to think about whether Jesus performed miracles and whether he could transform their lives too. Twelve volunteers dressed as ‘disciples’ will be in charge of handing out the fish and bread, which will be cooked in three mobile vans.
The Rev Neil Smart, associate vicar at St Jude’s Church, Southsea, said: ‘We want to put Jesus back at the centre of the life of our city by showing that he still does miracles among us today.’
It will be part of a free community festival on Castle Field, which will include live music, a samba band, talks, interviews, a kids’ zone, games, a refreshment tent, and more. There will be lots of free giveaways - from Mark’s gospels to knitted fish for the children.
Among the musicians playing will be the Bean Baker Band, who have played at festivals such as the Big Church Day Out, New Wine, Latitude and Soul Survivor; and award-winning indie singer-songwriter Jessie Dipper, who has been described as the ‘female Ed Sheeran’.
Later in the day, there’ll be a youth event in the same venue for 10 to 18-year-olds from 5.30pm to 8pm. Rap artist Hiddenman, who is from south London and has also played at New Wine, will be performing. There will also be pillow jousting, a bungee run, rodeo bull, sumo suits and food stalls.
St Jude’s is working with St Simon’s Church, St Margaret’s Church, the Vineyard Church, the Methodists and Kings Church in Southsea.