Well blessing planned as part of St Richard's Day celebrations

Droitwich Advertiser: Members of Probus '87 dressed as Friars will be re-enacting the well blessing. SP Members of Probus '87 dressed as Friars will be re-enacting the well blessing. SP

PLANS are underway for the town’s celebration of St Richard’s Day on Saturday, May 3 with a re-enactment of the events which led to the town adopting the saint.

The story behind St Richard’s involvement with Droitwich goes that in 1248, the brine springs of the town inexplicably dried up, which could have been catastrophic for the local salt-making industry, and the town itself.

The townspeople called on the Bishop of Chicester, who was later to become Sir Richard de Wyche, for help, and he led them in cleaning the well, before giving it an Episcopal blessing.

This year members of the local Probus Club have suggested re-enacting the blessing, something with was last formally done in the 1990s.

As a result, there will be a formal blessing of the Upwich Pit in Vines Park on Saturday, May 3. Participants will be congregating outside St Andrew’s Church at 11.15am and there will be a procession down to the Pit in Vines Park, which will be dressed by a team of ‘flower ladies’.

The procession will be led by David Wornham, who has composed a horn fanfare for the occasion, followed by altar servers from the Sacred Heart church, members of Probus ’87 dressed as friars, members of St Andrew’s Church choir, Droitwich mayor Tom Noyes, and the Rev Peter Kerr dressed as the Bishop of Chicester.

Members of the public are invited to join in with the procession as ‘pilgrims’, before the official blessing and a peal of bells from St Augustine’s Church.

The re-enactment is also due to be repeated again later in the day at 1.30pm, and anyone is welcome to join in with either procession from the starting point at St Andrew’s Church.

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