One of Folkestone’s oldest and most colourful traditions took place on 25th June.
15 June 2017
One of Folkestone’s oldest and most colourful traditions takes place on Sunday, 25th June, with the procession from St. Peter’s Church and the historic Blessing of the Fisheries and service of thanksgiving for the sea, the fisheries and for the safety of those who work at sea.
The Blessing of the Fisheries is first mentioned in the records of St. Peter’s during the early 1890’s, taking the form of a long procession of fishermen and women from the parish, along with servers, choirs and clergy from St. Peter’s and other parishes. These, together with the Mayor of Folkestone, Mayors of the Cinque Ports and Civic Dignitaries lead the Bishop from the Church to the Stade.
This year’s procession will assemble at St. Peter’s Church, North Street, Folkestone at 2.45pm with the procession commencing at 3.00pm.
Bishop Norman Banks, will bless the fleet and the fisheries, and address the crowds on the Stade, Folkestone at 3.15pm. Music will be provided by the Simon Langton School Band.
Following the Blessing Ceremony, all are invited to return to the Church for refreshments; where the Bishop will bless a new Community Mosaic made possible by Heritage Lottery Funding as part of the community outreach projects taking place alongside restoration work.
Records indicate the ceremony is over 120 years old. In times past the fishing boats would be dressed by their owners and bunting put up on the Stade. The ceremony usually took place on the Sunday following the patronal Festival of St. Peter (29th June) but it is now timed to be on the afternoon of ‘Town Sunday’ (Last Sunday in June), when the Mayor of Folkestone is proclaimed, thus celebrating Folkestone’s two oldest festivals on the same day.
For further information, please contact St. Peter’s Press Officer
Viv Kenny, 0777 3946828 or email firstname.lastname@example.org