PARISH CHURCH
CAROLS SERVICE 2015
CHRISTMAS FAYRE 2015
ARMISTICE SUNDAY 2015
CHRISTMAS CAROL SERVICE
ARMISTICE SUNDAY 2014
SAINTS FLOWER FESTIVAL
ST OSYTH DAY 2014
ARMISTICE DAY SERVICE
FLOWER FESTIVAL 2013
A GIFT TO THE NEEDY
OPEN GARDENS 2013
COMEMORATION CLOCK
FLOWER FESTIVAL 2012
OUTDOOR CONCERT INSIDE!
SPECIAL JUBILEE SERVICE
SALVATION ARMY CAROLS 2011
ARMISTICE DAY 2011
PUB SIGNS IN FLOWERS
OPEN GARDENS 2011
CAROLS WITH SALLY ARMY
RBL ANIVERSARY 2010
NEW VICAR INSTALLED
FLOWER FESTIVAL 2010
CHURCH PARTY 2009
ARMISTICE SUNDAY 2009
ST OSYTH DAY 2009
ANIVS AND CELEBRATION
MARTIN LEAVES ST OSYTH
ARMISTICE DAY 2008
HEARTS AND ANGELS
900 YEAR FESTIVAL
EASTER 2008. PALM SUNDAY
REMEMBRANCE DAY
FASHION & FLOWERS
CRIB SERVICE 2006
CAROLS AT CHRISTMAS
COUNTRYSIDE FESTIVAL
SONGS OF PRAISE 2006
OPEN GARDENS 2006
FESTIVAL OF THE SEA
OPEN GARDENS 2005
V.E.DAY REMEMBERED
HARVEST SUPPER 2004
MEDIEVAL FAYRE 04
OPEN GARDENS 2004
REMEMBERING D-DAY
OPEN GARDENS 2003
ST. OSYTH DAY 2002
1950'S EXHIBITION
CHURCH ARMY OUTREACH
BEATING THE BOUNDS
JUBILEE CONCERT
LESSONS & CAROLS
FLOWER FEST 2001
YEAR 2000 FESTIVAL
CHURCH WOOD CARVING
LESONS AND CAROLS
WELCOME VICAR


900 YEARS OF PRIORY AND CHURCH
Flower Festival



The Rev Martin Flowerdew, Vicar of the Parish Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, opened the evenings celebrations with a prayer welcoming everybody to his Church for the evening.

Mark Robert's (below) began the celebration saying that Our Festival this year is comemorating 900 Years of Priory and Church.
Copied below are the words used by Mark Roberts to introduce the various items

Anniversaries are difficult things when looking so far back, and the actual date of the founding of the Priory, or the start of construction of our present Church building are uncertain, but more like 890 years ago. But we can fix the date when Richard Belmeis became Bishop of London at 1108, so we have taken that as our nonacentenary. Anyway, we might not have been around in ten year’s time, so we have taken our opportunity




Richard Belmeis, as you should know if you have read my articles in St Osyth News, or read Phyl Hendy’s splendid book on the Priory and its people, was the man who founded the Priory and was buried there.
Tonight we are complementing the displays round the church which pick out important people and dates or aspects of life through the 900 years with some entertainment across the centuries - Mediaeval music, Jacobean dancing, and 18th century poems about the village, with Victorian songs to finish. We have some talented performers and I hope you enjoy their items.

As we should start our time journey in the 12th century, I thought you would like Henry II’s greeting from a charter a little after the time the Abbey and Church were consecrated.

Henricus, Dei Gratia Rex Angliae, Dux Normandiae, Comes Andegaviiae, Archiepiscopis, etc, Salutem.

(Translation: In other words, Henry, by the Grace of God, King of England, Duke of Normandy, Count of Andegavia, Archbishop, etc, Greetings.)

Our first item is some mediaeval music, played by Hilary Worn, with percussion accompanyment by Allison Bond using the mediaeval drum of the period.

Hilary will give her own introduction to her music.

CLICK underlined type
to read the poems

We now jump to the beginning of 18th century and our first Poem, “The Lass of St Osyth”. She was Bessy Savage, the heiress (on the wrong side of her father’s blanket) of the Priory, as we now call it, who first married Frederick Nassau, the Third Earl of Rochford. They set about bringing the Priory back to life after a century of damage and decay. After Frederick’s death in 1738, she married the Rev Philip Carter, the composer of this piece, which was also set to music. The poem is read by Pamela Garrad, the music played by Hilary.


The second most influential person in this village’s history is Henry VIII. It is due to him that the Abbey went into private hands, and that the chancel of the Church is offset. Both are down to money: Henry’s need for it, and the lack of it to finish the rebuilding going on when the monks were thrown out.
Thomas Darcy acquired the monastery and set about building all the chequerboard work you can see over the wall. His son John was knighted by Queen Elizabeth I at her Coronation and he had two visits from her. On the first in 1561 she suffered a great storm, and I quote “about 8 or 9 was as great thunder and lightning as any man ever heard”, adding that she thought “the end of the world was nigh”.

We now have for your delight some Jacobean dances, performed for us by the Playford Players.










The fourth Earl of Rochford’s wife died in 1773 and the fourth Earl in 1781, being commemorated with his wife in the Chancel. During the Earl’s time, King George III had visited the Priory twice. His title went to a nephew, but the Priory again went to a ‘natural’ son, Mr Frederick Nassau. While still a minor his trustees asset stripped the Priory and its grounds.
Sometime then, another poet harked back to greater times, quoting Wordsworth as his pessimistic inspiration, but praising the powers of recovery by nature in various parts of the Priory gardens:

Wordsworth wrote:
“So fails, so languishes, grows dim and dies,
all that the world is proud of! From their spheres
The stars of human glory are cast down.”

And now for some more Jacobean Dance by the superb Playford Players.




The words in the poem, 'Old Bulmer’s oak is gone to sea', suggests that that named oak tree had gone to build Nelson’s fleet.
Our talented artists of the mediaeval music will now perform for us again.

In 1863 Sir John Johnson bought the Priory in a run-down state and started bringing it to life again. It was he who also started the restoration of our beautiful church, also in a sorry state. The altar and stone horseshoe rail, and the painted and gilded ceiling in the chancel were paid for by him, not without some controversy, as were all the windows in the Chancel, and the diamond-paned windows in the body of the church.

Another poet, McLeod, wrote about the improvements, comparing the improvements with the decline shown in the last poem.


Another poem about St Osyth was written by the well-known Suffolk poet of the countryside, George Crabbe, who was born in the 1750s. Under the title ‘St Osyth in the 1790s’, it mentions various features of the Priory grounds. This is an extract, read again by Pamela Garrad and myself.


To end our programme on a light note, our long-term supporter of the Friends of the church, Barbara Francis, will sing two Victorian songs, accompanied by this church’s long-time organist and choir mistress, Gillian Wildney.


Before we finish, I must thank all those responsible for making this evening, and indeed the Flower Festival, possible. I cannot name them all but they include all those who got the church ready; those who created the displays for your enjoyment; those who have produced the refreshments which you are about to enjoy; and the performers for this little entertainment with the history of St Osyth in mind. – First Pamela Garrad for the readings…. Then Hilary Worn and … for the delightful mediaeval music, Brenda Ellis and the Playford Players for the Tudor dancing, and of course Barbara Francis and Gillian Wildney for those nostalgic songs.
And for a finale, before we have a ten minute break to get the refreshments ready, why not join us all, with Barbara leading us, in Land of Hope and Glory.

Land of Hope and Glory, Mother of the free,
How shall we extol thee, who are born of thee?
Wider still and wider shall thy bounds be set:
God made thee mighty, make thee mightier yet.
God that made thee mighty, make thee mightier yet. (twice)



Those attending in period costume

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900 Years

HENRY VIII and the Dissolution of the Monasteries

St Osyth Abbey was closed in 1539, stripped of its roofs and ransacked. Work on rebuilding the Church with its brick arcades stopped as a result.The Chancel was not widened which is why it is offset from the Nave.

Display by Allison Bond


The thumbnail pictures below show some of the floral/historical exhibits around the Church. Please Click on a picture below for an enlargement, then click the back arrow (top left of the enlarged page) to return to this main page.
Some of the enlarged pictures contain text applicable to that picture













































































3/9/08



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