Church helps Norfolk village celebrate jubilee
2012: The parish of Kirby Bedon with Whitlingham, just south east of Norwich, celebrated the Diamond Jubilee on Monday June 4, with worship and festivities. Kevin Gotts reports.
In keeping with previous events the parish, with a population of less than 200, organised a church service in St Andrew’s Church, Kirby Bedon
to herald celebrations.
At midday a Service of Thanksgiving, led by Canon Ivan Bailey, brought together 80 worshippers. The service included a special hymn written by Ivan, the reading of a letter from the Queen’s royal household addressed to the parish and finishing with a glass of champagne to toast Her Majesty.
The congregation then moved across the road to the old church ruins where Lady Mary Colman officially unveiled a wooden circular seat (pictured top), which surrounded a Princess Elizabeth maple tree, to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee. The seat was funded by the Parish Council and the tree generously provided by South Norfolk Council.
By this time, another 40 villagers and guests joined proceedings in the nearby Church Farm field. A hog roast, salads, ice cream and drinks from a pay bar were enjoyed.
Amazingly the weather remained dry, with some cloud and wind, which enabled a range of activities to take place in the open. With a back drop of music played and led by Emma Went, a Royal Quiz helped entertain the adults while the children enjoyed a treasure hunt. Some folk were adorned in outfits of red, white and blue.
In the nearby Church Hall, a photo reminiscence of the village was on display dating back to the 1900 millennium celebrations. There were competitions for creations of the queen and crown made by locals, as well as a raffle.
A villager summed up: “The village had a very successful party for the Golden Jubilee in 2002 and it was felt we should carry on the tradition of celebrating the long reign of HM Queen Elizabeth II. Due to the hard work put in by a small organising committee, the event was a huge success thanks to the support of villagers past and present.”