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Popular Blessing of the Herring service proves to be a tasty treat

PUBLISHED: 11:35 05 November 2018

Vicar of Pakefield, Reverend Sharon Lord, with the tray of herring ahead of the annual Blessing of the Herring ceremony on the green opposite The Oddfellows pub in Pakefield. Pictures: Mick Howes

Vicar of Pakefield, Reverend Sharon Lord, with the tray of herring ahead of the annual Blessing of the Herring ceremony on the green opposite The Oddfellows pub in Pakefield. Pictures: Mick Howes

Archant

A popular annual ceremony attracted a fine turnout of people as herring were blessed and prayers were said for those venturing out to sea.

The annual Blessing of the Herring ceremony on the green opposite The Oddfellows pub in Pakefield. Pictures: Mick Howes
The annual Blessing of the Herring ceremony on the green opposite The Oddfellows pub in Pakefield. Pictures: Mick Howes

With a sizeable congregation assembling in the winter sunshine for the annual Blessing of the Herring ceremony on Sunday, the humble fish that made such an impact on the east coast was honoured.

The herring industry holds a special place in the hearts of locals, as the so-called Silver Darlings provided hundreds of jobs along the east coast, attracting scores of boats and the ‘herring girls’ south from Scotland to catch and process them.

Led by the new vicar of Pakefield Reverend Sharon Lord, the service on the cliff top green opposite the Oddfellows pub in Pakefield was hailed a success.

Rev Lord welcomed those present before hymns were sung and readings given. A prayer was said for all those who venture out to sea and a blessing was given to a tray of herring.

Vicar of Pakefield, Reverend Sharon Lord, with the tray of herring ahead of the annual Blessing of the Herring ceremony on the green opposite The Oddfellows pub in Pakefield. Pictures: Mick HowesVicar of Pakefield, Reverend Sharon Lord, with the tray of herring ahead of the annual Blessing of the Herring ceremony on the green opposite The Oddfellows pub in Pakefield. Pictures: Mick Howes

With the idea for the annual service coming from Charlie Atkins, landlord of the Oddfellows, Rev Lord thanked the fishermen who had caught and donated the herring and also thanked Mr Atkins and the staff of the Oddfellows pub for cooking the herring and selling them to benefit the Pakefield Church thatch roof repair fund.

Charlie Atkins and staff at The Oddfellows pub in Pakefield prepare to cook the herring and sell them to benefit the Pakefield Church thatch roof repair fund. Pictures: Mick HowesCharlie Atkins and staff at The Oddfellows pub in Pakefield prepare to cook the herring and sell them to benefit the Pakefield Church thatch roof repair fund. Pictures: Mick Howes

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