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Despite Storm Dennis, the church of St Peter and Paul, Hockley, was packed on Sunday, February 16 for a service of blessing and thanksgiving held to launch a year-long programme of events to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the church’s rebuilding in 1220.
Guests included the Lord Lieutenant of Essex; Mark Francoise, MP; Cllr Robin Dray, chairman of Rochford District Council and the celebrant was the Right Rev Stephen Cottrell, Bishop of Chelmsford.
During the service children lit a celebration candle, smaller versions of which given to children from local junior schools who had contributed in the making of a ‘stained glass window’, altar frontal and models of the church showing how it could have looked pre 1220 and after its reconstruction.
The next celebratory event is an illustrated talk by local historian, Paul Taylor, on ‘A Hundred Years of Hockley’ on Thursday, March 5.