Over 200 people gathered a sang songs, offered up prayers and witnessed a reenactment of the Crucifixion with volunteers from local churches.
David Elcock, 32, of Leigh Road Baptist Church, acted out the part of Jesus, being stripped by Roman centurions, whipped and tied to a tree.
He said: “People came up to me afterwards and said the re-enactment brought the message of what Jesus did for us home.”
Dan Gracie, 27, from Westcliff said, “You hear the story lots and lots of times, but when it’s brought off the page, you see it in a different light. It grabs your attention and makes you think about the sacrifice made”.
Despite the cold weather, spirits remained high as people took part and were warmed by hot cross buns and warm tea given out to passers by and those attending.
Each year, a different local church leads the service and this year it was the turn of The Well Church, based in Leigh.
Worshipper David Lynam, 49, of Rayleigh Avenue, Westcliff, said: “The service was very moving. And everyone was touched by the short play.”
There was also interactive Labyrinth provided by Chalkwell Park Methodist church that allowed people to wander around and reflect on God’s love for each an every one of us.
Some visitors brought their own wooden crosses to the service, which was broadcast to the crowd from loudspeakers.