Stoke by Nayland: Village church hosts Justice Service

The Rev Adrian Mason leads the procession for the evensong for her Majesties Court of Justice in the

The Rev Adrian Mason leads the procession for the evensong for her Majesties Court of Justice in the County of Suffolk from the Old Rectory to The Church of St Mary, Stoke By Nayland. - Credit: Andrew Partridge

MORE than 400 dignitaries converged on a parish church for the annual Justice Service for the High Sheriff of Suffolk.

The current holder of the position, Andrew Norman-Butler, chose St Mary’s Church, in Stoke by Nayland, for this year’s event, which is traditionally held at St Edmundsbury Cathedral. The service always takes place towards the end of a High Sheriff’s year in office. The official handover this year will take place on April 4 at Ipswich Crown Court.

Two high court judges, including Mr Justice Brian Langstaff, were among the guests who formed a procession from the old rectory on the village green to the church. The Suffolk Constabulary Male Voice Choir, accompanied by organist Patrick Friend, performed at the service, which was also attended by the county’s Chief Constable Douglas Paxton. Following the service, around 350 people attended a tea in the village hall organised by a team of local woman headed by Una Oakes.

Mr Norman-Butler, who lives in Stoke By Nayland, said: “We would normally only get a congregation of around 20 people at the church for a weekly service so it is just wonderful to see the building come to life with such magnificent music and a crowd of more than 400 people.”


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