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Rush Sunday Service
Release date: Mon, 21/05/2012
One of the highlights in the city's civic calendar takes place on Sunday (27th) when the Rush Service takes place at St Mary Redcliffe Church at 11am.
In an unbroken tradition dating back to 1493, Bristol’s Lord Mayor, High Sheriff, Chief Constable, Sword Bearer, Aldermen and Councillors will process in traditional robes and regalia at the start of the Whit Sunday Rush Service.
The annual ‘Rush Sunday’ service takes its name from the way, in accordance with a mediaeval tradition, the floor of the church is covered with fragrant rushes and herbs. Those in the procession carry nosegays, traditional round posies of flowers and herbs. Originally intended to ward off infection, they are used today to add further colour and beauty to the civic service.
The Rush Service was instituted by the medieval merchant, William Spenser, a former Lord Mayor of Bristol who was concerned that the gospel of Christ should be proclaimed to the city's corporation. He funded the preaching of sermons to them on each of the three days following Whit Sunday but at the time of the Reformation this was modified to just one sermon on Whit Sunday.
Following the service there will be speeches in the south churchyard by the Lord Mayor and the Very Reverend David Hoyle (Dean of Bristol Cathedral) who is the guest preacher. This will be followed by the traditional sherry and Madeira cake reception.
Lord Mayor Cllr Peter Main said: "The Rush Sunday Service is one of the most colourful events in Bristol's civic year. It is a great honour to be taking part and continuing this 500-year tradition."
Alan Roberts, Church Warden at St Mary Redcliffe said: "All of us at St Mary Redcliffe look forward to Rush Sunday as a splendid occasion and enjoy welcoming the Lord Mayor, Council and many other guests into our church. Our staff and congregation work hard to ensure that it runs smoothly, including the invitations, seating arrangements, music , the floral decorations and the many colourful posies."
Demand for seats at The Rush Service means that admission to the service is by ticket only. There is no charge. Apply to Mrs Pat Terry in the Parish Office at St Mary Redcliffe Church, call 0117 9291487 or email email@example.com
Find out more: http://www.bristol.gov.uk/page/annual-civic-services