Annual Pet Service
In July we held our annual Pet Service. We had planned to be outside, but sadly it rained and so the service was held in the church. 28 pets were present with their owners. Each pet was blessed and given a certificate and then there was a prade of pets around the church. A happy time was had by all.
On Maundy Thursday, Graham set off for Derby, with his son John. They travelled to Pride Park where all security checks were undertaken and then, along with the other recipients, were taken by coach, with an escort of police motorcycle out-riders, to the cathedral.
The distribution of Alms on the Thursday of Holy Week can be traced back in England, with certainty, to the twelfth century. The first known Royal Distribution, from present records, was at Knaresborough, North Yorkshire by King John in 1210.
From the fifteenth century, the number of recipients has been related to the years of the Sovereign's life, and this year 84 men and 84 women received the gift. Recipients are now pensioners selected because of the Christian service they have rendered to the Church and the community.
The service was accompanied by the choirs and organists of Her Majesty's Chapel Royal and of Derby Cathedral. Lessons were read by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh and by the Acting Dean of the Cathedral.
During the distribution, The Lord High Almoner, the Bishop of Manchester introduced Graham to the Queen saying " Your majesty, this is the Reverend Graham Foster who has been ordained for 72 years." The Queen replied: "That's a very long time, do you still take services?" To which Graham replied "Yes Ma'am." Not all recipients were spoken to, so Graham felt extremely proud and privileged.
On Sunday 11th April the first lambing service was held at Holy Trinity. Twin lambs, provided by Churchdale Farm, sat in a pen under the pulpit, bleating occasionally, much to the delight of everyone present. Rev. John Paul asked John Winkworth-Smith of Churchdale Farm, questions about the lambs and we heard of the miracle of their birth, how the mum recognised her lamb and vice versa, the particular breed of sheep in Derbyshire known as the Mule and many other interesting facts. John Paul then spoke of Jesus, the Good Shepherd and of us, His flock.