Great Britain

Grasmere's ancient Rushbearing tradition to get 2020 virtual resurrection

The Rushbearing ceremony unfortunately had to be cancelled last year due to a lack of an organiser, however in 2020, despite the current Covid crisis, the ceremony is looking to be renewed.

Rushbearing is an old English ecclesiastical festival in which rushes are collected and carried to be strewn on the floor of the parish church.

The tradition dates back to the Middle Ages where church floors were still made of earth and bodies were buried beneath the building.

To maintain cleanliness, Parishioners used sweet smelling rushes to help insulation.

Last year’s ceremony was cancelled due to an organiser not being found in time.

A renewed enthusiasm has now left the organising committee talking about bigger plans for 2020.

The Rushbearing ceremony was previously going to be delayed until 2021, but during the last few months life has been reinvented, redesigned, and rethought to be lived in a different way through the internet and from the comfort of our own homes.

Even though lockdown measures are easing, a street option is still not available.

The organising committee has decided not to have an actual procession for Rushbearing but instead they plan to mark the occasion virtually.

Significantly, organiser Father David Wilmot and the Ulverston Town Band have agreed to assist.

Details will be finalised as soon as possible.

A digital Rushbearing will be a first of its kind, but it does open up new opportunities.

Social distancing will be of the highest priority for the organisers.

This year prizes will be offered for the most interesting or exotically located bearing.

Submissions for bearings can be sent in online via the group’s Facebook page at Grasmere Rushbearing or through email at [email protected]

Further details and updates can also be found on Facebook. Submissions can be accepted up until July 11.

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