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Emerging from the church into the bright and breezy afternoon, everyone appreciated the buffet and drinks laid out on tables at the side of the church.  Mrs Anne Springman said how lovely it was to be there and thanked St. Blasius on behalf of all the visitors. The Area Dean, Graham Morris, then presented Victor and Marion with anniversary cards, an iced cake and two beautiful floral arrangements which had been made by Margaret Giller, consisting of ruby red roses, gypsophilia and Shanklin myrtle.

Finally, and most importantly, special thanks go to our Secretary Barbara Wake for her hard work in co-ordinating this memorable event.

Revd Victor Standing’s Licensing Day

Sunday, 4th September - Victor's Licensing Day - dawned with cloud and misting rain - not the sort of weather to welcome him and Marion, their family, friends, The Bishop of Portsmouth, Archdeacon Caroline Baston, well-wishers from Shoreham, Island dignitaries plus the congregation of St. Blasius to the service for the signing of Victor's Licence to his new Parish here in Shanklin. Outside the church, gazeboes were being erected, tables assembled and chairs positioned for the refreshments after the service. Then the heavens opened and everyone took shelter from the torrential rain. By lunchtime the rain had ceased and by early afternoon a hint of blue sky promised that the sun would shine on us all. Our church was decked, inside and out, with beautiful flowers; a delicious buffet had been prepared by Olive Rashid and her helpers and was hidden under sheets of foil. The drinks were on ice; the organist had arrived and our car park attendant was ready to assist those who were arriving by road. Sidespersons were in place, and the first guests started to arrive. A coach from Shoreham bearing forty five people from Victor's previous parish pulled up at the Lych Gate. Our pews were filling up and there was an air of excitement building in our church.

Ray Dyke, one of our Churchwardens, welcomed the congregation and gave out the necessary notices to be observed, then Peter Hyde, our Crucifer, led the procession from the back of the church and Bishop Christopher took his seat in the Chancel.

The first and last hymns to be used during the service had been especially chosen by Victor and Marion as these had been sung at their wedding ceremony forty years ago to the day!

Bishop Christopher conducted the first part of the service and after his Sermon, the Licensing Presentation began with Archdeacon Caroline and Area Dean Graham Morris assisting. With Victor kneeling before Bishop Christopher the Licence was read out, handed to Victor and then signed by him at a table beneath the Pulpit. The Eucharist was administered by the Bishop, Archdeacon, Area Dean and Victor with the congregation passing before them.

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