King's Lynn Festival Service

ALISON CROOSE Terry Waite's moving account of his years of captivity in Beirut prompted spontaneous applause.

ALISON CROOSE

Terry Waite's moving account of his years of captivity in Beirut prompted spontaneous applause at yesterday's festival service.

The Archbishop of Canterbury's special envoy described the desperate circumstances of his incarceration but stressed that the extreme conditions created hope out of dire adversity.

From the pulpit at St Margaret's Church the bearded giant – he is 6ft 7in tall – admitted to human frailties in the face of loneliness, isolation and fear.

He said the world was not a just or fair place and that suffering was not equally spread, but that something creative could emerge from it. He said the festival service celebrated 52 years of arts and music in the town and 900 years of continuous worship at St Margaret's.

But, he said, the occasion was tinged with sadness because Canon Bill Hurdman, vicar of St Margaret's who had invited him to preach at the service, had died earlier this year.

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Mr Waite spoke of the great love and respect in which Bill Hurdman was held and paid tribute to him.

It was testimony to Mr Waite and his belief that his sermon was greeted with heartfelt applause from a huge congregation.

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