Market adds bustle to North Walsham Palm Sunday procession

A Palm Sunday procession at North Walsham had a different twist as a donkey, choristers, clergy and churchgoers walked through a town centre bustling with market stalls.

The annual ceremony coincided with an international market being staged in the town centre on Sunday.

Palm and cross carrying worshippers headed from the Market Cross to the parish church through an avenue of food and craft stalls instead of the usual deserted streets.

Vicar Canon Derek Earis was happy with the extra bustle saying: 'It is more like things would have been when Jesus originally rode in Jerusalem.'

Among the procession was Laura, a three-year-old rescue donkey belonging to David and Janella Wilkins from NJE Taxis of White Horse Common, who performed perfectly on her debut at the event.

The market featured about 20 stalls showcasing everything from Parisian jewellery and Swiss cheese to Greek olives and German frankfurters.

Market boss Ronaldo Marrachinho at his paella stall said they had also been at Sheringham for the previous two days, and toured the nation as far afield as the Orkney Islands, adding: 'People like it because it is something different, and it reminds them of being on holiday.'

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Event organiser Dave Robertson said it was aiming to raise the profile of the town, as well as funds for the Christmas lights, and he hoped to do another later in the year.

It was a busy day for the town, and the vicar, with the church also hosting 700 scouts for a divisional St George's parade in the afternoon.

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