Winter wassail at Chadkirk Chapel keeping traditions alive

Winter Wassail at Chadkirk Chapel keeping traditions alive

My previous post other than a New Years greeting followed our trip to Chester last month. This latest post if a bit different as it was that time of year again when the tradition of the orchard visiting Wassail is brought to life at the Grade II listed building of Chadkirk Chapel.

This was the second time we have been to the Wassailing event and it really is good fun. The event is held at the old chapel that dates back to the 16th century and that is located on Vale Road in Romiley, Stockport (SK6 3LB).

Quite apart from the Wassail event it’s a terrific old building that well worth visiting.

Aside from the Wassail event and a visit to the chapel, the woodland and meadows that the chapel is located in are always worth spending time at and good for a wander around the surrounds of the old chapel.

What is Wassailing

There are varius forms of Wassaling that have evolved over time -a quick web search will throw up plenty of information, and the following links re worth a look:

National Trust;

Historic UK;

York Museums Trust.

The Wassail we went to was one that can be described as an orchard visiting or apple wassail and that probably originated from the west of England and the cider producing areas.

The key purpose of the event is to essentially chase away and scare evil spirits from the apple trees. There’s a gathering of folk, the appointment of a King or Queen and then a candle and torch lit procession to the orchard (or in this case the chapel).

Toast and cider are offered to the trees initially by the King or Queen with as much noise as possible made by the crowd to frighten off the evil spirts – the upshot of which os said to be a plentiful harvest later in the year.

I knew the King

On this occasion I knew the King that was appointed for the ceremony – it was my grandson Harry or rather King Harry. Complete with his illuminated crown King Harry led the procession to that Chappel and put the toast on the tree and generally enjoyed being King for a couple of hours.

Refreshments and entertainment

Refreshment were provided by the volunteers group of Chadkirk Chapel and the entertainment was provided by members of the Stockport Morris

I gather they have performed together since the mid 1980s and I understand the style of dancing they do is known as North West Morris – there’s some more information here.

All in all a fun evening and great to know that there are plenty of folk who spend their valuable time keeping tradition alive and something that our Grandchildren have thoroughly enjoyed.

And whist on the subject of children – here’s a plug for a new blog that plans to focus on the value of reading to children. A Child That Reads can be visited with this link.

Picture gallery

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