What to expect from a Passion Play

A man wearing a knitted cap watches a Passion play, wondering what he can expect.

What can you expect from a Passion Play? Simply put, Passion Plays tell the Easter story. They cover the events of the last few years of Jesus’ life, his death and his resurrection.

The story of Easter is set in Jerusalem in the first century when it was occupied by the Roman army. It was a harsh and brutal time, and the Roman centurions who were in charge of keeping the peace in the occupied city were particularly harsh and brutal. They recognised no one’s basic human rights, unless you were a Roman citizen.

Why watch a Passion Play – what can you expect? Read what other people said in answer to this question:

The kids and I were completely blown away by this immersive experience…Birmingham Passion Play brought the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection to life!

– Anon, Birmingham

The joy at Jesus’ resurrection at the end was palpable.
– Katie, Oxford

It was a revelation to me.  When I was in the church “Peter” looked at me personally and said “Jesus loves you”… I was stunned. I never had that message delivered to me so strongly. It has remained in my heart and my mind since. I have made it light of my faith in recent years, being more a deist than a Christian, and irritated with all the Christian concepts. I feel like wanting to return to the fold now and I have this picture of Jesus with his arms wide opened.  It is amazing….

– Isabelle, Norwich

The Passion Play was a great event – there was a real buzz about it at NCBC on Sunday – excellent feedback from so many people. A lot of work I’m sure but worth it for the lasting impact.

– Helen, Norwich

The part where they led Jesus to the cross was simple but so powerful – the mocking was like it could have been today and was just relentless – I found myself thinking, how could you be so dis-respectful about him, so irreverent, how can you miss who he is?

– Rob Hodd, Norwich

Wow! People of Birmingham you’ve done yourselves proud with the numbers that turned out for the Passion Play. Outstanding doesn’t do it justice for what a fabulous time it’s been!

– Andrew, Birmingham

Thank you all for a very blessed weekend it was so inspiring and will stay with me for a very long time. God bless.

– Anon, Havant

I’m not religious but what an amazing day…a wonderful project bringing a diverse community together. Thanks to everyone who put so much work into it

– Yvette, Manchester

 

Is fundraising like online dating?

Online dating is trying to find the right match among many differnet people. Fundraising for Passion Plays is similar to online dating in one respect: trying to find the right match for your Play among different trusts and funding charities. Finding this perfect match is the key to raising funds to tell the Easter story!

Once you find trusts and funders who are of a similar mindset and value the things you value, you are well on the way to a perfect match.

 

How do we find potential funders?

The Charity Commission’s Register of Charities allows you to search for free by using filters to narrow your search. (Remember, Scotland and Northern Ireland have separate registers.)
Funding Central is another register that is free to access.
For a more expensive option, you can try the Directory of Social Change’s Funds Online website which is regularly updated.
Since Passion Plays bring many churches of all denominations together, your diocese can be a good source of information and signposting. For example, see the Diocese of Bristol and their list of funders here.  www.bristol.anglican.org/documents/diocesan-funding-guide/
The Christian Funders’ Forum is also a useful source.

 

How do we let funders know our project is a good match for them?

Now is the time to do some research and really think about compatibility with the funders you are researching.

You can research their online content, websites, and also Further information will be inread through their annual reports published on the Charity Commissions website (click ‘Documents’ tab). These annual reports will give useful imformation about projects they have previously funded.

A quick phone call can also be helpful in establishing contact and goodwill as you will be able to find out more about them and let them know what you do.

Remember here that one of the key elements is timing! Some funders have a set application process that requires you to apply before a deadline. Other funders have trustees’ meetings at set times during the year and those times are good to work with.

The timing of your project also matters. Some funders like to fund projects in the early stage of development, while others like to give funding when they see other funders have already contributed.

There is a lot to think about with fundraising! But Passion Plays are such unique projects that it can also be an enjoyable process. Many funders like to hear about large community arts events that tell the Easter story in fresh and inspiring ways. Not only do Passion Plays have large outdoor audiences across the UK each Easter, they are also unique spaces of community, skill-sharing, mentoring and investing in the lives of volunteers across all sections of society. They are more than a one-off performance and the impact spreads across the whole community for many months.

 

Where can I find more help with fundraising?

If you want more help with fundraising, we have plenty more tips and advice on our website here.

We have recorded sessions from previous Passion Trust Conferences including sessions looking at Finance & Fundraising, Administration and Practical Considerations, and Q&A sessions. You can see more information and watch short helpful videos on our website here.

You can also find lots of helpful tips and advice at The Benefact Trust here or click on the image below.

three bullet points with rows of text and images in blue bubbles with white icons for help with fundraising

 

A young woman with blonde hair and a red top stands in the middle of a room with a script in her hands ready to speak.

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