THE month began with 200 worshippers taking part in the annual March of Witness through Stroud town centre on Good Friday to celebrate the Easter story of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.

Later the SNJ’s Help James Walk Appeal surpassed the £35,000 needed for little James Dwight to undergo life changing surgery.

Nine-year-old James, from Arlingham, suffers from a form of cerebral palsy and is unable to walk without the aid of a walker.

His family are now discussing dates for an operation at Frenchay Hospital, in Bristol which is not available on the NHS.

Hollywood heartthrob Channing Tatum, who stars in Magic Mike and GI Joe, was rumoured to have been spotted in Stroud and a hamster surprised a family in Painswick by staging its own Easter resurrection.

The family buried Tink the hamster after they found her lying lifeless in her cage, but the next day – on Good Friday – the pet dug its way out of the soil and was found alive and well.

Dozens of protesters gathered in Stroud High Street to demonstrate against controversial plans to cut housing benefit.

The so-called ‘bedroom tax’, which was thought would affect 486 social housing tenants in the Stroud district, provoked nationwide protests.

Planning permission was granted for a 32 bedroom canalside retirement complex on the site of Robert Timms garage in Cainscross Road, Stroud and political parties put forward their manifestos ahead of May’s Gloucestershire County Council election.

Meanwhile a grant of £17,000 was welcomed as a ‘crucial lifeline’ for women’s refuge the Beresford Group and politicians in Stroud paid tribute to former prime minister Margaret Thatcher, who died following a stroke at the age of 87.

Singing couple Katie Smith from King’s Stanley and Harry Jones from Tetbury, made it to the televised stage of hit BBC 1 talent show The Voice.