Consecration of Stoke Ferry Cemetery Extension
Ray reports on a rare event in the ecclesiatic calendar - the consecration of a cemetery extension
On Thursday 2nd June 2005 the extension of the Stoke Ferry cemetery was consecrated by The Right Reverend Doctor Anthony Russell, Bishop of Ely supported by The Reverend Canon David Kightley and some forty Parish Councillors, members of the Parochial Church Council and villagers. The Mayor and Mayoress of the Borough of King's Lynn & West Norfolk, Trevor and Coral Manley, were also in attendance.
The Bishop greeted all those who attended by telling them that this was probably the only event of its kind that they would ever witness. He said he only performed such a ceremony about every 18 months and he had 30 or so parishes within his diocese. He explained the procedure, whereby, he would traverse the boundary of the cemetery extension making the sign of the cross with his staff.
After initial prayers and a reading from the bible by Carol Nicholas-Letch, one of the churchwardens of All Saints Wretton with Stoke Ferry, Mr Malcolm Mycock, on behalf of the Parish Council, invited the Bishop to perform the service of consecration. The legality of the extension was confirmed by the legal declaration of the transfer of deed of ownership of the land by the official Solicitor of the diocese.
After this unique service, greatly appreciated by all in attendance, everyone retired to the Village Hall where a sumptuous feast of scones and cakes, ably washed down by copious amounts of tea and coffee, awaited them. This splendid array of refreshments was provided by Joyce Hull, Monika Goetz and other members of the community.
The Parochial Church Council, delighted with the arrangements, wrote to the Parish Council thanking them for organising a great event with especial thanks to whoever laid on the refreshments thanked Brian for the two sets of photos one of which has been given the Bishop.