St Edmund’s Day was celebrated in style this year, with a full church attendance at Family Mass, followed by an “open house” lunch for circa 80 parishioners and friends, and with the school – the jewel in the crown of our parish – playing a central role in the celebrations.
As is customary for Family Mass, our young parishioners led many of the hymns and also did the readings and brought up the Offertory gifts, while the small but growing school choir delivered a melting rendition of As the Deer Pants for the Water.
After Mass, we all adjourned to our wonderfully decorated hall for coffees, and took the opportunity to admire the artwork created by the school children and to browse their books of poetry and stories, based on the legend of St Edmund and the wolf.
Adding to the sense of occasion, a trumpet call marked the beginning of the celebrations, followed by a welcome from Fr Charles before we all recited the prayer to St Edmund. What followed next was an excellent medley of music, song and readings, with performances from parishioners of all ages. Speaking of age, we observed that our youngest party reveller was 2 years and the oldest 82 years old, while Jenny was celebrating 29th birthday (again!) on the day.
Mrs Barlow told us how St Edmund’s Day was celebrated at school and showcased some very artistic and amusing videos created by the children, using the interactive whiteboard. In addition to the various performances, a special craftwork area, dedicated to crown decorating, was set aside for children.
Marking a break with our traditional Winter BBQ, this year’s lunch menu served up hearty portions of chilli and jacket potato with various garnishes, followed by trifle and a special St Edmund cake.
The celebratory meal was free of charge but diners were invited to contribute by way of helping with the organising, cooking, decorating or clearing up. And help was forthcoming in all four aspects. It was especially heartening to see so many people, some of them with young children, stay behind afterwards to help clear up – ample evidence, if evidence were needed, of the wonderful camaraderie and community spirit in our parish.
Huge thanks to the many parishioners, family and friends who made this St Edmund’s Day so special, both in the church and in the hall. The celebration was filled with prayer, fellowship and joy. Special thanks are reserved, however, for Sonia Montagu who suggested an “open house” style celebration and who, with the help of her husband, James, undertook the lion’s share of the organising and cooking. Big love to both of them!