Aylsham curate’s farewell service
Rev Jack Branford, who is leaving Aylsham Parish Church to take up a role as chaplain of Gresham’s School in Holt, led his final service at the church on Sunday August 2.
Over the last few months, Rev Branford has been helping the town and surrounding villages by launching a community help line along with volunteers, keeping the foodbank running and turning an old telephone box into a community pantry.
During the farewell service various members of the church, the Aylsham and District rector and the chairman of Broadland District Council all spoke of their gratitude for all he had done for the community both before and throughout the coronavirus pandemic. He was declared a community hero by both the Rotary Club and the Broadland Council.
In more recent weeks Rev Branford has been holding services and prayer live on Facebook and has found new ways to host a christening from a social distance using a water pistol to sprinkle water over the congregation.
The church also announced that they would be putting up a plaque in the church in honour of Mr Branford to mark how he helped Aylsham and the surrounding areas through the crisis - the announcement led the congregation to give the popular curate a standing ovation.
Rev Branford said: “I’m incredibly touched. The last couple of months since we announced we were leaving have been an emotional roller coaster. We love this team of churches and we love these communities. The overwhelming emotion has been thankfulness.”
The picture of Jack and his family is courtesy of Aylsham Parish Church.
To read our previous story on June 17 about Rev Branford’s departure, click here.
This story is based on an article which appeared, with pictures of the farewell service, in the Eastern Daily Press.
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