It was also a brave event for the BBC to attempt. It wasn’t at all clear how many people would turn up or who they would be. Katharine had been very wary of the whole thing, afraid of being preached at.
For some it was an affirmation of their Christian faith. But it wasn’t – for us anyway – a religious occasion. We saw a wonderful piece of theatre and a celebration of Manchester and its impressive contribution to popular culture. The city looked great. Watching back on television this morning, Exchange Square in particular looks like a studio set. But Manchester really does look like that – superb Victorian architecture, rubs shoulders with the best of the new and bright neon lights – a wonderland, with something for everyone.
When I went through the camera phone pics this morning, I found a familiar face: the protester who accosted me as I left Jerry Springer the Opera.
That so many songs have Christian reference points is no great surprise. Christianity is deeply engrained in the collective consciousness. The Happy Mondays, in particular, have always borrowed heavily and I was disappointed not to get a chorus of Halleluiah and a bit of Kinky Afro: ‘Yippee-ippee-ey-ey-ay-yey-yey / I had to crucify some brother today’.
See also: Manchester Passion: a beautiful day for a crucifixion……A Christian execution