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Bishop of Dover Rose Hudson-Wilkin to lead BBC Easter service at St Mary's Church, Walmer, Deal

The new Bishop of Dover will lead a special televised service at St Mary's Church in Walmer this Easter.

The Right Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin will lead the worship - broadcast live by BBC - at 10am on Easter Sunday, April 12.

Rose Hudson-Wilkin. Picture: Jim Drew
Rose Hudson-Wilkin. Picture: Jim Drew

It will be her second visit to area as she is also due to help launch the 900th anniversary celebrations of Blessed Mary of Walmer, the Old Church in Church Street, on Saturday, March 21.

This will be a civic reception at 4.30pm followed by Evensong at 6pm.

The Rev’d Canon Seth Cooper, Rector of Walmer and Cornilo, said: “This is such a privilege and so exciting for us to be hosting Bishop Rose twice and also an honour to be highlighted on TV on Easter Day, the most important day of our Christian year.

"We hope and pray that we can do our community proud as well as give the glory to God.”

On both occasions pupils from the Downs Church of England Primary school, the parish’s church school, will be helping and it’s hoped that on Easter Day representatives from other groups and organisations in the local community will be involved, especially to reflect the seafaring, Royal Marines, and mining heritage of Walmer and Deal.

The Blessed Virgin Mary Church at Walmer..Picture: Paul Amos.
The Blessed Virgin Mary Church at Walmer..Picture: Paul Amos.

The Rev Cooper added: “There has been a Christian witness through church buildings for at least 900 years in Walmer and it’s great that in our anniversary year for the Old Church we are able to continue that witness and celebrate in such amazing ways.

"Thanks to everyone who will help to make these occasions a success, not least our music director, Chris Lockyer, and the choir, who will be singing at both services.”

St Mary’s Walmer was chosen for the Easter Day TV broadcast after the BBC had contacted Canterbury diocese and asked if they could suggest some churches.

A shortlist was made up and, after representatives from the BBC visited the churches, St Mary’s was chosen particularly because of the diverse nature of east Kent; coastal, rural, urban, its rich history and varied communities.

The Rev Hudson-Wilkin, a former chaplain to the Queen, became the first ever black woman bishop last November.

She was that month consecrated as the new Dover Bishop, replacing the Rt Rev Trevor Willmott.

Further information about both Walmer events will be available nearer the time at walmerparishchurches.org

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