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Solider to Saint

On Saturday evening the GFF youth group departed from St Clare’s for their end of term group trip.

We first went to Pizza Hut at Deepdale were we enjoyed spending time together eating and chatting. After we had finished at Pizza Hut, we then made our way to St Walburge’s Parish Hall which was the venue for the play 'Soldier To Saint', written by RISE Theatre's Charley Pinfold. The play is a modern take on the story of Britain's first Christian martyr, St Alban.

The Metanoia Project invited RISE Theatre to Preston who have been travelling around the country with the play ‘Soldier to Saint’, this was RISE Theatre’s final night of the tour, about 120 people came to St. Walburge’s.

The story is set in 2020 London. It is a terrifying time of upheaval, when Christians are being persecuted and forced into hiding. The play opens with a figure wearing a coat and clutching a briefcase, frightened not knowing where to seek refuge. He is reluctantly taken in by a soldier, John Alban, who is haunted by his experiences in war.

The two strike an unlikely friendship, as it is revealed that the man is a fugitive priest, Fr. Thomas Emmanuel. John is very impressed by the strength of the faith of Fr. Emmanuel, and starts to read his bible. During subsequent conversations, John is convinced in the truth of the story of Jesus, and is baptised by Fr. Emmanuel.

When the police come to check on who is living in his apartment, John first of all tries to pass Fr. Emmanuel off as a friend staying overnight in his apartment. When the police return, convinced that Fr. Emmanuel is being hidden in the apartment, John persuades Fr. Emmanuel to let him take his place.

During questioning by the judge, it is discovered that he isn't the real Fr. Emmanuel. Faced with the choice of renouncing his beliefs or certain death, John refuses to walk away from the truth and is executed.

We live in an increasing secular society which is becoming increasingly challenging for Christians. One wonders how we would react if our society reached the stages depicted in this play. Would we be prepared to make the same sacrifices as John Alban, would we be able to stand up for what we believe?

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