Good turnout for Blessing of the Herring Service
- Credit: Archant
A socially distanced congregation gathered for a popular open-air service.
The cliff top at Pakefield was bathed in sunshine as people turned out for the popular annual Blessing of the Herring ceremony on Sunday afternoon (October 25).
With blue skies, more than 100 people gathered on the green opposite The Oddfellows pub for the socially distanced open-air service, which was led by the Rector of Pakefield, Sharon Lord.
The service opened with the hymn ‘Eternal Father Strong to Save’ and Rev Lord then thanked the crew of the fishing boat ‘William Walter’ and the ‘Beach Hut Fishmongers’ who had provided the herrings.
She also expressed her gratitude to pub landlord Charlie Atkins and all the team at The Oddfellows for their hard work and help.
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After a Bible reading relating the story of Jonah and the Whale and a further hymn, Rev Lord led a prayer to the “fishermen, lifeboatmen and sailors” who all risked their lives going to sea, before blessing the ‘Silver Darlings’ – as the herring are known locally.
Cooked herrings were then offered for sale at the Oddfellows pub to raise funds for the church.
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The event is organised annually to coincide with the arrival of the herring off the coast of Lowestoft.