Wetheringsett celebrates one of county’s historic sons

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Four years of planning came to a head on Sunday as one of Suffolk’s historic sons — a leading Elizabethan writer and a priest who lived in the county 400 years ago — was celebrated in Wetheringsett.

A service held at All Saints Church was among the events organised to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Richard Hakluyt, a geographer and Rector of Wetheringsett-cum-Brockford from 1590 until he died.

About 100 people joined Rt Revd Martin Seeley, Bishop of the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, who led the service on Advent Sunday. and dedicated a commemorative plaque insure the church in honour of Hakluyt.

The Revd Julia Lall, from Stanwell Green near Eye, said: “He was rector of our parish of Wetheringsett for 26 years and lived with his wife and son at the rectory.

“It was here that he wrote his many volumes on travel, trade, exploration and settlement.

“This is important and exciting day puts Wetheringsett on the map and is a great opportunity for the community to come together and celebrate the Revd Richard Hakluyt, who has a road named after him and is depicted in the village sign.

This is important and exciting day puts Wetheringsett on the map and is a great opportunity for the community to come together and celebrate the Revd Richard Hakluyt, who has a road named after him and is depicted in the village sign

Revd Julia Lall

“The day had been four years in the planning and we have been very much looking forward to welcoming the many visitors who joined us.”

Bishop Martin said: “I was delighted to be asked to bless the commemorative plaque in memory of Richard Hakluyt.

“Representatives from the church, parish council, school, village organisations, along with other churches in the South Hartismere Benefice joined members of the Hakluyt Society to celebrate the life and contribution of this eminent local figure and priest.

“It was truly wonderful to see the community coming together in the church to remember one of our county’s historic sons, who contributed so much to his community and the Elizabethan age he lived in.”

The moving service was followed by a reception in the village hall during which Medieval music was played by Ancestral Voices.