CHRIST emerges from his refuge for the second time in as many weeks and again he is greeted by the sinners. The Sweet Name of Jesus band plays mournful tunes while the hooded penitente parade behind the cross through the streets of Orgiva. It’s a spectacle.

I feel I am standing on a fault-line between tradition and repression. On one side of the gulf is passion and pageantry, on the other the stark ugliness of religion’s control of the people through the blind acceptance of sin.

This is how the church worked in Spain for centuries – and in Britain, too. You are sinners, you people; you are tainted with the original sin of Adam and Eve; repent and secure your place in heaven; accept your suffering, your poverty, your lowliness, and you shall, through the blessed quality of meekness, inherit the Earth. But you must die first. That’s the deal.

Jesus and the penitents disappear round a corner near the Italian Cafe. The smell of incense lingers with the sounds of trumpets and drums. I decide I don’t want to inherit the Earth. I’m quite satisfied with the here and now.