Stone cross memorial raised

A NEW stone cross in memory of two villagers has been made to sit atop of the church where they once worshipped.John Booth donated the cross for St Mary's Church in Bucklesham in memory of his parents, John and Joyce Booth, who are buried in the churchyard.

A NEW stone cross in memory of two villagers has been made to sit atop of the church where they once worshipped.

John Booth donated the cross for St Mary's Church in Bucklesham in memory of his parents, John and Joyce Booth, who are buried in the churchyard.

"The previous cross which stood on the east gable was damaged many years ago and I just thought it would be nice to have a new cross to replace it," said Mr Booth, of Low House, Bucklesham Road, Foxhall.

"I thought I would donate it in memory of my parents as the church was very important in their lives and they loved the building. I have relatives buried here dating back to the 1600s and so it is special to all our family.

"There will be a small plaque placed in the ground so that people can read that and then look up and see the cross above them."

He said it was hoped that the old cross, which has been taken down, could either be placed in the churchyard or perhaps fixed in a wall setting.

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"It would be nice if we could still keep it as it is part of the history of the church and it would be a shame to lose it," he added.

The new cross, which stands just over two feet six inches tall and is made of natural Portland stone, was dedicated by Rev Canon Geoffrey Grant at a small ceremony, before being hoisted into place on its mountings by builders.

Among the guests at the ceremony was stonemason Gary Mayne, who hand carved the cross as a close friend of the Booth family.

Also present was Gary Barker, whose company has provided the scaffolding, along with churchwardens and members of the Parochial Church Council.

The next project for the PCC is to raise around £12,000 for to add a kitchen and a toilet to the church so that it can be used even more fully by the community.

Bucklesham has had a village church for centuries but the medieval building was substantially rebuilt in 1878 to create the church which stands today.

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