In glorious sunshine the Parish of Rudgwick recently celebrated the provision of further burial space as Bishop Ruth extended the effects of consecration to the new graveyard at Holy Trinity Church Rudgwick.
Like many churchyards across the county, Holy Trinity has been running out of space.The land, formerly used for agriculture, was generously donated by a benefactor and will serve the village's needs for at least the next 100 years.
In a service attended by over 70 parishioners, local councillors and others from the community Bishop Ruth spoke of the pain of bereavement and the sure and certain hope Christians have of resurrection.
The service started in the Church with the Vicar, Reverend Martin King, presenting the petition for Consecration of the additional burial ground to Bishop Ruth, with the words “Bishop, we ask you to consecrate this ground for the burial of our people.”
The Churchwardens, Mrs Hannah Keanie and Mrs Louise Smith, carrying their staves of office then led the Bishop, followed by the congregation, in a procession to the new churchyard.
The Bishop then proceeded around the boundary of the land to each corner of the ground making the sign of the cross on the ground with her staff, thereby consecrating the land and setting it apart for Christian burial.
The Bishop then prayed “By virtue of my authority in the Church of God I do now consecrate and set apart from all profane and common use, this ground, to be a resting place of the dead until the glorious resurrection in the last day; in the name of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.”
The Instrument of Consecration was then signed by the Bishop.
The Reverend Martin King, Vicar of Rudgwick said “It has been wonderful to welcome Bishop Ruth to this very special occasion for the Church and Village.Today is the culmination of a number of years of work with the Parish Council to provide additional burial space for generations to come.I am grateful to Mr Bailey for his generosity in giving this land as a gift to our village for resting place and hope that it will be a place of rest and remembrance.”
Rudgwick Parish Church is a medieval Grade I listed building dating from the 13th Century.The Churchyard dates from that time and was previously extended to the East on 12 May 1912 by the then Bishop of Lewis, Leonard Burrows. Reverend Martin King has been Vicar of Rudgwick since April 2010.