St. Mary's Church, Woodbridge
"We are here for the glory of God; to be the body of Christ, broken and restored to reflect the Gospel in our lives."
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On the afternoon of Sunday, 9th August, your Parish Church hosted the annual Civic Service for the town of Woodbridge. Attired in their scarlet robes trimmed with fur, lace and chains of office, mayors and mayoresses with other civic dignitaries and council members filled the nave of this beautiful building, described by the Rector, Revd. Canon Kevan McCormack, as the best church in Suffolk. In his welcome, Kevan mentioned three special individuals: Majors Russell and Febe Pipe, installed that morning as new officers of Woodbridge Salvation Army, and Revd. Dr. John Hare, assistant priest at St. Mary’s and preacher at this service.

Led by Malcolm Russell on the magnificent organ, voices were raised in singing the well-known hymn ‘Make me a channel of your peace’ as the standards of the Royal British Legion and the town’s youth organisations were processed and laid at the high altar. The prayers were led by the Assistant Curate, Revd. Paul Hambling, followed by a reading by the Mayor of Woodbridge, Councillor Les Binns. Paul Bloomfield gave a powerful performance of the anthem ‘Panis Angelicus’ which was followed by John’s sermon, based on the theme of a child’s world. Characterised by excitement, eagerness to learn, imagination, enthusiasm, energy and joy, he likened our faith to these child-like qualities. Whatever our age or physical condition, we, too, can dance like a child when we allow God into our lives.

Prayers were led by Honorary Freeman of the Town, Mrs. Betty Richardson, Mr. Ron Hepworth and Mr. Geoff Jacobs.

‘Jerusalem’ and the National Anthem were sung with all the passion and patriotism of the Last Night of the Proms and a collection was taken, to be shared between the work of 1st Woodbridge Scout Group and the Parish Church.

After the service, the Mayor of Woodbridge invited everyone to a reception in the Shire Hall.