A GROUP of latter day pilgrims from Poole travelled to Italy to link their passion play with those on the continent.

The nine actors from the Poole Passion want it to be the first in the UK to become part of Euro Passion.

The Poole Passion is a biennial event that has become a modern tradition in the town. Dubbed the People’s Passion, it began in 2009 and is an inclusive group with members aged from 10 to 90.

The play Through The Eyes of a Child was written to be performed in Parkstone United Reformed Church and St Peter’s Parkstone.

Members travelled into the arms of the Italian Alps, where Sordevolo’s epic presentation of the Death of Christ has been put every five years on at the Giovanni Paolo II amphitheatre for more two centuries.

The Poole group gave a presentation at the Euro Passion conference and was invited to watch the Sordevolo play, with its 500-strong cast and Roman soldiers galloping into the arena in full costume.

Poole Passion producer said the whole event was “Europe at its best”.

She said: “What a wonderful contrast to the negativity we are fed. Here was Europe really working as a wonderful friendship .

"The thing we had in common was the same at Euro Passion as it is in Poole; the making of a play, a community play bringing people together and forming kind of family.

“In Europe, the Poole family became the European family. We also have to be grateful to the Nation Passion Trust, which networks all of the UK plays together – another kind of family.

“One touching aspect at one of the most beautiful meals that was laid on for the delegates of the conference, where trestle tables were laid out end to end throughout a whole street within the town.”

Poole Passion’s 90-year-old member Bob, whose late wife was German and who lost his brother in World War II, found himself singing with a group of young Germans.

He said: "I firmly believe that while Britain and Germany have a friendly relationship, there will be no major conflict in Europe.”

To be part of the Poole Passion 2016, visit poolepassion.org.uk or come to the launch fo the new season on Wednesday, September 30, 7pm, at Parkstone United Reformed Church on Commercial Road.