HUNDREDS of people gathered to take part in a Walk of Witness for Palm Sunday.

Waving Palm Crosses, with some children carrying palm leaves they had made, more than 250 parishioners walked through the streets of Harwood, singing hymns and prayers.

They were led by Shetland pony, Maisie, who was standing in for a donkey, in a symbolic gesture to mark the start of the Christian Holy Week.

The walk, organised by the village churches representing the different denominations, is the first to take place on Palm Sunday in Harwood for many years.

Residents looked out of windows and waved, while cars stopped for the walk.

The Rev Ian Smart, of Harwood Methodist Church, said: “There has been a wonderful turn-out. This is the first time we have held the walk and it has been really encouraging.

“We want people to see that the churches in Harwood are working together as one church family in the community we seek to serve.”

Harwood resident Roy Pearson, aged 83, said: “It has been marvellous. I am pleased that all the faiths are together, seeing the churches get together has been particularly good.

“I remember the walks from when I was younger and I used to carry the cross.”

The Rev Canon Wendy Oliver of Christ Church said: “It has been really good to have so much support and I think it will become an annual event.

“It shows that all the three different denominations are working in unity.”

Father Michael Cooke, of St Brendan’s RC Church, said: “We have strong congregations and we do work together.”

The Archdeacon of Bolton the Ven David Bailey also took part in the procession.

Maisie’s owner Aaron Ashcroft, aged 13, said: “She was very good and it was a good event.”