By Ray Duff: The 2024 Blessing of the Fisheries was held on Sunday afternoon with a large congregation gathering within St Peter’s Church on The Durlocks, known as the fishermen’s church, for the annual event which was also graced by the presence of The Mayor of Folkestone Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly and the Chair of Folkestone & Hythe District Council, Cllr Anita Jones.

This year, due to bad weather, the ceremony was held entirely at the Church, forgoing the more usual procession and blessing on The Stade.

The ceremony began with a procession through the Church by the religious personages, and then the Rt Rev Nicholas Reade welcomed all to the service which was then followed by hymns and bible readings.  He also gave the sermon referring to the Galilee boat, found in the mid 1980s just off the coast of Israel, which was of a type which Jesus may have boarded. He then referred to the story of Jesus calming the waters during a storm to save the fishermen onboard.

He continued by calling on all to remember the fisherfolk who risk their lives daily going to sea for their catches to put on families’ plates.

The ceremony continued with further hymns and Bible readings before the annual blessing itself was undertaken by the Right Rev Reade over a model fishing boat, giving thanks for their lives, work and the bounty the catch and for the continued safety.

The service concluded with a procession and then everyone was invited to partake of the excellent refreshments once again provided by members of the congregation.

By Ed

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