Parishioners hug church in annual tradition

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CHILDREN of St Loys School in Weedon Lois gave their parish church symbolic hug last month during the annual girlding of the church.

Girdling is believed to be an Anglo-Saxon tradition which survived the Norman conquest in which parishioners give thanks for the church and the community in which they live.

Rev Will Adams said they had to put extra seating into the church to cater for the number of people attending the service.

Mr Adams added: “We had a wonderful congregation, the place was packed, a lot of children. The whole point of girdling is to see the church at the heart of its community and give the congregation a chance to hug the church the same way you might hug a member of the family.”

Mr Adams joked: “The tradition is children get a bun for their efforts and the Vicar gets four, but I must have been too late and missed out.”

Girlding is also known as clypping, derived from the Anglo Saxon cly-pan meaning embrace.