Christmas cheer as pioneer is celebrated at church event
PUBLISHED: 13:24 13 December 2019 | UPDATED: 13:25 13 December 2019
The spirit of William Winstanley (Jonathan Webb) lives on in Quendon Church. CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHY
Copyright © 2019 Celia Bartlett Photography. All rights reserved.
A celebration of “The man who invented Christmas”, William Winstanley, was held at Quendon Church, St Simon and St Jude on Sunday, December 8.
The older pupils did their readings. CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHY
Winstanley, head of a wealthy family in the village, defied Oliver Cromwell's ban on yuletide festivities in the 1650s when Quendon Church was closed by the Puritains.
He held celebrations at his home, The Berries, and is credited with inventing traditions including decking the hall, Christmas crackers, giving gifts and alms to the poor.
A prankster, he would hide a dragon along the roadside and note people's reactions in pamphlets which he sold in London, raising money to found the almshouses in Saffron Walden.
Children from Rickling School and other villagers dressed in 17th century costume, sang carols and rang bells with villager, Jonathan Webb entering the church dressed as Winstanley.
Children played their part. CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHY
A village spokesman said: "This is an annual event, which we revived four years ago. It was a great occasion and the church was full."
The younger pupils were chased by Winstanley's Dragon. CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHY The younger pupils were chased by Winstanley's Dragon. CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHY Jonathan Webb as William Winstanley - preserver of the traditional Christmas traditions. CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHY Puritan villagers and William Winstanley - Carrie Williams, Tracey Hepting, Jonathan Webb and Katherine Nuthall. CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHY A girl in costume takes a break from the Winstanley performance. CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHY Villagers dressed in Puritan style, ring out the handbells at the opening of the Winstanley Day celebrations. CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHY Two boys from Rickling School sang the opening solo verse of Once in Royal David's City. CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHY Carol singing. CELIA BARTLETT Carol singing. CELIA BARTLETT Carol singing. CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHY Carol singing. CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHY More traditional songs and readings. CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHY Introducing William Winstanley. CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHY William Winstanley (Jonathan Webb in Quendon Church. Picture CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHY The youngest pupils from Rickling school had their parts to play in the presentation. CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHY Each child had their part to play, some in appropriate costume. CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHY
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Saffron Walden Reporter. Click the link in the orange box below for details.