Shrine at Suffolk church rebuilt after 400 years

  • Published
Shrine at Kersey Church
Image caption,
Bishop Martin Seeley praised the "extraordinary" new shrine

A church has rebuilt a shrine that was almost totally destroyed 400 years ago.

After two years of work the shrine at St Mary's Church in Kersey, Suffolk, has been rehallowed (reconsecrated).

Donations of £15,000 helped build the shrine which replaces the original, torn apart in the 17th Century during the era of Puritanism.

The church said it chose International Women's Day to open the shrine to honour the importance of women in bible stories.

Bishop Martin Seeley, the Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, wore wellington boots to take water from the ford in the village, for use in the rehallowing service.

A large copper bowl, filled with water to reflect the ford is the focus of the new shrine.

Image caption,
Water was taken from the village ford to be used in the ceremony

Angel statues that were beheaded in the civil war are among the few remnants of the earlier shrine.

More than 150 people attended the rehallowing, honouring it as a holy place.

Bishop Seeley said: "They've conceived this extraordinary, creative and imaginative recreation of the shrine."

The original shrine included a statue of Mary holding Jesus following the crucifixion, but it was destroyed.

It is the first shrine to be rehallowed in Suffolk.

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