The Rev Margaret Jones, vicar of the Parish of Whaley Bridge, performed the Blessing of Whaley Bridge’s Welldressing, and resolved to revive the parish’s participation in this wonderful community event next year.
The Blessing took place in warm, dry weather, despite darkening clouds and a reputation for rain on the event. Local councillor David Lomax, welcoming Margaret and a group of mums from Polish twin town Tymbark, joked that there must be many non-Whaley Bridge people in the congregation, judging by the absence of umbrellas!
There was more joking from David, asking people to look for a fat little mouse that had enjoyed an organic breakfast from part of the main welldressing. David had helped the volunteers put together the ‘picture’ made from natural materials, depicting the theme of wildlife. His section was a badger. He had used part of an old yard brush to recreate the badger’s coat and dried sunflower seeds on the back of its neck. It was the sunflower seeds that attracted the mouse only hours before the blessing. It had even trampled down a few flower petals in its rush to get breakfast – they had to be replaced.
Designer Rosemary Wignall actually spotted the mouse in the marquee where other welldressings were being prepared. But volunteers refused to consider putting down a mousetrap!
The Rev Margaret had ‘watched with pleasure’ the dressings being created within a week. She told the congregation that in the Somerset village where she grew up there were still cottages that relied on a well for all their water. That was an era when water was never wasted. The blessing prayer gave thanks for the gift of water.