Gedding, Suffolk – St Mary

DSC01450I was Rector of Bradfield St Clare, Cockfield, Felsham and Gedding for four years from 1997. Gedding is a small village, the church and the phone box are the only public buildings in the village, and Felsham church is not much more than a mile away. We needed to raise tens of thousands to repair the church. I dared to point out that for that price we could afford a chauffeur-driven limousine every Sunday to take all the congregation to Felsham … . We held a Festival “Gedding Church – too good to loose?” and the money came in. It didn’t increase the congregation. Yet 15 years later there is still a service here once a fortnight – according to the Benefice website which is showing last February’s services … (the Benefice now has six churches rather than four). The fact that Rolling Stone Bill Wyman lives next door helped a bit.

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A nice solid Norman church. It has a round churchyard, perhaps with a moat. It used to have two huge trees. The County Tree Officer condemned them as rotten inside, so they had to come down. The village was in uproar, and it was all the Rector’s fault. The tree surgeons managed to chop them down, and cut the electricity line to the village at the same time. That was the Rector’s fault too!

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DSC01458Nothing special to write about. No stunning carving, stained glass or wall paintings. A good solid little church that has welcomed people year in year out, century in century out. I do remember a lovely wedding I did here – nice couple who lived in the village. The day before I went in to church and mum and aunt were putting a huge floral display in. “You can’t put it there” I said “that’s where I stand with the bride and groom.” Mum and aunt were not happy. I sat in the vestry filling in the registers while they muttered. I heard a huge crash. Aunt had backed into the flowers. “There is a God”, I thought.

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