The Diaper Heritage Association
Fisherman, Ferryman, Sailor, Spy - the Diapers of Itchen Ferry

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Civic Service, Cannibalism & Sea Scouts

On the 24th September at 5pm, the Mayor of Southampton in his position as Admiral of the Port will attend an inaugural civic service at Pear Tree Church in Woolston to commemorate the maritime history of Southampton.


Organised as part of the events programme linked to the exhibition ‘Fisherman, Ferry, Sailor, Spy - The Diapers of Itchen Ferry’ the service will reflect on the contribution of the community of Itchen Ferry Village to Southampton’s rich maritime heritage.


Pear Tree Church is not only the original church of the Ferry Village but is also the first Anglican church to be consecrated after the Reformation in 1620, making it the oldest Anglican church in the world. It is the place where the memorial to Richard Parker, eaten by his shipmates following a terrible shipwreck, can be found and his story will form part of the service.


The church choir will be joined by the choir of Ludlow School and the mayor’s honour guard will be provided by the local branch of the Sea Scouts.



The service is designed to be multi-denominational and will take the form of a Victorian ‘Songs of Praise’ says the vicar, the Rev Paul Firmin. “The mayor will be wearing his full ceremonial regalia and attenders are encouraged to get into the spirit of the day by wearing Victorian costume.”



The service will last approximately one hour and there will be tea and biscuits served afterwards.



Everyone is welcome to join the celebrations” says Flo Taylor from the Diaper Heritage Association, who helped organise the event, “we are hoping that many past parishioners as well as those interested in history or with maritime associations will attend”