Sarasota church hosts Christian pilgrimage

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SARASOTA - The Church of the Redeemer hosted a Christian pilgrimage Friday through the streets of downtown Sarasota.

This Good Friday has been tradition for the last 17 years.

The pilgrimage has grown from just 15 people in 1996 when the church's men’s prayer group started it, to nearly 500 this year, and people we talked to say it's become part of their Easter tradition.

With so many "pilgrims" this year, Sarasota Police closed streets and directed the traffic as people made their way down Main Street and to the Church of the Redeemer, stopping along the way at Stations of the Cross, a century’s old Christian tradition remembering and experiencing 14 events along the way of Christ's journey to the cross.

“The unity of the community and the different churches coming together as one people, and it's a very spiritual feeling,” says Carmen Mehl.

“I like being with the people, and it's a great reminder of what today's all about,” says Betty Barker.

Since 2002, the Sarasota Ministerial Association, which is made up of over 50 churches and faith based agencies, has joined the Church of the Redeemer for the Good Friday pilgrimage.