Sunday congregation brave the chill for annual Blessing of the Herring ceremony

Blessing the Herring. Picture by Mick Howes

Blessing the Herring. Picture by Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

The devout group came together on Pakefield cliffs opposite The Oddfellows pub, led by the rector of Pakefield Church, Canon Bob Baker.

Blessing the Herring, Canon Bob Baker. Picture by Mick Howes

Blessing the Herring, Canon Bob Baker. Picture by Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

The service began with Canon Baker mentioning that somebody was trying to sell ice-creams near to Pakefield Church car park. He told the group that if the ice-cream seller had enough faith to weather the cold November afternoon then the congregation could certainly match his faith by believing the rain would hold off for the service.

This was followed by the singing of the hymns Will Your Anchor Hold in the Storms of Life and Eternal Father, Strong to Save.

There was also a reading from the Bible which gave the account of Peter walking on the water towards Jesus before he became frightened and took his eyes off the Lord and began to sink, at which point Jesus rescued him and took him to a place of safety on the boat.

There was then a prayer for all those who venture out to sea, and all those who are going through storms in their lives, and - of course - a blessing of the herrings - as well as on all who were going to enjoy eating them.

Blessing the Herring, Canon Bob Baker. Picture by Mick Howes

Blessing the Herring, Canon Bob Baker. Picture by Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes


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Canon Baker thanked the fishermen who had caught and donated the herrings, Charlie Atkins and the staff of the Oddfellows pub for cooking them and organising the event, and everyone who bought them and donated towards the Pakefield Church thatch roof repair fund.

A total of £200 was raised as a result of the ceremony, contributing towards the £25,000 needed for the repair work.

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