Beasts take over village

Giant St Baise being created for paradeGiants and beasts will be taking over a Gloucestershire village this weekend.

The mythical monsters will be part of a procession alongside the Bishop of Tewkesbury to mark the 700th anniversary of the consecration of St Mary’s churches in Frampton on Severn and Fretherne by Bishop Maidstone of Worcester in 1315.

A number of events have been planned in Frampton and Fretherne, which have joined with two other villages, Harescombe and Whaddon, to mark the occasion. The four villages have received a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to help make the celebrations as authentic as possible.

The Revd Dr Anne Spargo, Priest-in-Charge of The Severnside Benefice of Churches, said: “Processions have always been part of religious ceremonies, dating back into Biblical times. During the 14th century, these involved giants and beasts in musical procession.

"Much of this was lost during the Reformation in England, but we wanted to mark the occasion of our consecration and it seemed fitting to look back to how these events were marked 700 years ago. This is a fun celebration of the work the church has been doing in the community for the last seven centuries.”

The procession, which takes place through Whaddon on Saturday morning and Frampton on Severn on Sunday, will feature the giant St Blaise, the patron saint of Woolcombers, who was much-venerated in Frampton on Severn during medieval times.

St Mary’s Church in Frampton will be decorated by the school children with medieval style wall paintings and there will be information about the history and heritage of the church and church trail leaflets to encourage people to visit all four of the churches involved.

Other festivities include a traditional medieval Feast and entertainment at Fretherne on Friday evening while St Mary’s orchard, Frampton, will host a Churchwardens’ Ale on Saturday afternoon. The Bishop of Tewkesbury, the Rt Revd Martyn Snow, will take part in a service in Frampton. This will be preceded by the procession involving participants from all four churches.

For more details about the weekend, visit http://www.dedication1315.org.uk.

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