Cheese, bread and a story about seeds for Whitsun in St Briavels

By Forester Reporter   |   Reporter   |
Sunday 12th June 2022 6:00 am
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St Briavels cheese
People hoping to get some bread and cheese in the annual ‘dole’ (Tindle )

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REV Janice Hamilton finally got to preach her Whit Sunday sermon at St Briavels this weekend.

She was joined for the Whittington Purse service by pupils of St Briavels who acted out the parable of sower and the seeds.

The Whittington Purse is a Whitsun tradition at St Briavels dating back to the 1630s where a visiting preacher is invited to give a sermon.

If the congregation approves, the visitor receives £1 6s 8d, which is still given to successful preachers in old money.

Rev Hamilton, who was formerly a minister at Tidenham but has since moved to Cheltenham, was invited to be the guest preacher for 2020.

Rev Janice Hamilton
Minister Rev David Rees asks the congregation if preacher Rev Janice Hamilton deserves the Whittington Purse (Tindle )

She said she attended the 2019 ceremony “to get the lie of the land” but her big moment was thwarted by lockdown.

Last year, the event was cancelled at the last minute – with the then Year Four pupils ready to bring to life Rev Hamilton’s sermon based on the parable of the sower and the seed.

And while it rained again on Sunday, the sermon went ahead inside the church.

Parable St Briavels
Pupils of St Briavels School act out the parable of the sower of the seeds (Tindle )

Rev Hamilton won over the congregation and was presented with the purse of pre-decimal coins.

Following the sermon, the annual cheese and bread dole took place with people using umbrella to catch some of the 15 loaves of bread and seven kilos of cheese which had been cut into cubes,

It was thrown from a high platform by Keeper of the Wood, Gerald Creswick, and his sister Margaret Saunders.

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