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March 31st 2018 – ‘Gathering together’

March 31st 2018 – ‘Gathering together’
March 31, 2018 Sandra Goodwin

The centre of Nantwich was very quiet on the morning of Good Friday. A market town, which dates back to the Roman era, Nantwich has a fascinating history.

On December 10th 1583 over half of the population were made homeless by a fire which ripped through the town destroying all but a few of the dwellings. Queen Elizabeth 1st felt so moved by the plight of the people of ‘Nantwyche’ that she granted monies for its rebuilding, many Elizabethan houses remain today.

Nantwich was a strategic centre in the English Civil War, prisoners were held in the Church of St Mary, often called the cathedral of South Cheshire, and the town was besieged. Each year on the last Saturday in January known locally as ‘Holly Holy day’ the Sealed Knot society re-enact one of the many battles which took place in the area. The siege was finally lifted at the end of January 1644.

Moving forward to 2018, the majority of traders in Nantwich continue to observe the tradition of closing on Good Friday, the main exceptions being  the large supermarkets.

David and I, accompanied by younger daughter Becky attended a reflective time of worship in the local Methodist Church before gathering in an ecumenical witness of faith and worship in the town centre (pictured above). Locally baked hot-cross buns were distributed to passers-by and at the end of the witness we gathered in the Parish Rooms where hot drinks – and more delicious hot cross buns were very gratefully received.

Over the Bank Holiday weekend many people will gather in Nantwich for the annual Jazz Festival. Needless to say the Methodist Church participates by offering hospitality, a warm refuge with food and hot drinks and plays host to some of the band activities which will include a jazz service on Easter Sunday afternoon. Watch this space!

Easter blessings, Sandra