Our Draycott-in-the-Moors photo this time comes from Cresswell.
It has become something of a tradition now in this part of the district for the statue of Our Lady at St Mary Catholic Church in Cresswell to be taken in procession each year at the beginning of May.
May is the month of Mary of course; and the church itself is dedicated to her, so there is a double reason for the celebration.
This year – on a very fine day indeed, fortunately – nearly fifty people were present and took part, including students from Painsley High Catholic School.
It’s a short and simple but moving ceremony.
First, the statue, which is only four feet high, is taken from the church and placed on a table in the church garden.
Then the congregation do a circuit of the church grounds – including St Mary’s Orchard, as it’s called – during which they offer prayers to Mary and sing the Ave Maria.
The end of the ceremony is the crowning of the statue by the youngest member of the congregation, who is appropriately dressed in a blue cloak. Blue is the colour of Mary.
This year (2013), the three united churches of Meir, Caverswall and Cresswell also presented their banners. Students from Painsley High Catholic School also presented its banner.
There are more photos of St Mary’s Church statues on the St Mary’s Church History page