Blessing the site of the Burrow shop in Exbourne
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Blessing the site of the Exbourne Shop, The Burrow.

A simple Blessing for the Breaking of the Ground was held on the site of the Burrow Underground Shop in Exbourne on Monday September 5th 2011 as contractors Mark Hedges Construction moved in to start excavating. The Reverend Ruth Hansford, Anglican Priest in Charge of Hatherleigh, Meeth, Northlew, Jacobstowe and Monkehampton parishes together with Reverend Philip Wagstaff from the Exbourne Methodist Church, both spoke. Ruth had a prepared script, which is shown below, while Philip spoke off the cuff so we can't tell you his exact words. Marie Winckler, Chair of the Exbourne and Jacobstowe Community Association who have driven the project along over a nine year period, led the ceremony. Afterwards, everyone headed back to the Village Hall for tea.

About 50 people were present to hear the Blessing. Sally Hordern, one of the founders of EJCAL, writes: "Among the audience was David Fisher of Plunkett, whose organisation has been particularly helpful and have bent overbackwards to do help sort out some of the many problems encountered along the way. They have given us a grant of £20k and have been wonderful in extending their deadline for us."

Here's how the ceremony went ...


Monday 5th September 2011, 11.00 am
Welcome and Introduction by Marie Winkler

Blessing for the Breaking of the Ground (read by Reverend Ruth Hansford)

In the name of God,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
peace be to this place.
The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it,

All: the world, and all who live in it. Psalm 24:1

Unless the Lord builds the house,
All: its builders labour in vain. Psalm 127:1

Blessed be you, Lord God of all creation,
for you have given us this place at this time
to put down foundations
for a new community shop and café
to provide for the needs of those in this community and beyond.
As we lay bare the earth

(a portion of ground is uncovered)

we pray for your blessing upon this enterprise
that all who work here during its building and on its completion,
rejoicing in an atmosphere of hope,
may expend their skill and energy to the utmost.
May the Burrow Community Shop and Café,
in its new abode, continue to bear fruit,
bringing blessings to all those who shall sit or talk or work together here, and to the whole community.

Encircle this place with your protection, O God;
may your holy angels encompass it,

All: and your peace be within it.

Concluding Remarks and Blessing

















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