Church Bells Ringing
The bells of St Mary’s Church in Burnham-on-Crouch rang out on Sunday afternoon 6th February 2022 to announce the start of a service of Thanksgiving and Rededication for the 100 years of the Burnham Branch of the Royal British Legion.
The service was conducted by the Revd Suzie Fryer, Vicar of St Mary’s and Padre of the Burnham branch of the Royal British Legion supported by Revd Anne Sardeson Minister of Maldon, Burnham-on-Crouch and Southminster United Reformed Churches with Mrs Karen Smilley, Minister of Burnham Baptist Church and Padre of 2531 DF Squadron Burnham Air Cadets.
Also attending were Mr Robert Villa and Major David Swann, President and Chairman of the Royal British Legion, County of Essex respectively, Mr David Price, Chairman of the Burnham-on-Crouch Branch, members of the branch, local councillors, representatives of Essex Police and Fire and Rescue other local organisations and many residents of the town.
The service opened with a musical rendition of the remembrance poem “In Flanders Field” sung by the choir under the direction of Terry Saunders, this was followed by the ministers leading a procession of eight standards to the high altar.
The Vicar opened the service by saying that the service was to acknowledge the work of the local branch since it was formed in January 1922 and also to mark the 100 years since the memorial to those men from the parish who had died during the Great War was unveiled and dedicated in the church.
Following readings from Major Swann and Mr Price, Mrs Smilley preached on Love and Compassion and then Revd Sardeson said the prayers of intercession.
During a hymn the Burnham Branch Standard was handed back to the Standard Bearer, Mr Peter Baiden, who was joined in front of the altar by Mr Price and Mr James Cousins, Secretary of the Burnham Branch, for the Act of Thanksgiving and Rededication led by the Branch Padre.
The remaining Standard Bearers then received their Standards back from the ministers for an Act of Remembrance where Mr Saunders played the “Last Post” and “Reveille” on the organ.
Major Swann then presented Mr Price with a Certificate from The Royal British Legion commemorating the 100 years work of the Burnham-on-Crouch Branch.
After The Blessing the clergy led the procession to the West End of the church during the singing of the hymn “For all the Saints” which had been sung at the service of Dedication of the Great War memorial one hundred years previously.