Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

St John of Beverley Festival, 2017

Posted on by royvickery |

St John of Beverley, founder of Beverley Minster, in the East Riding of Yorkshire, was commemorated in the Minster on Sunday 7 May, his feast day, 2017.  Two services took place.  In the morning the Bishop of Beverley preached and ‘hallowed’ a new statue of the Saint, whose tomb was decorated with local flowers.

A rather grander service, involving a civic procession of robed dignitaries, was held at 5.30 p.m., and during this two posies of ‘wild flowers from Harpham, reputed birthplace of St John’ were placed on his grave by a choirboy and choir-girl.

Bunches of primroses (Primula vulgaris) were traditionally placed on the grave, but in 2017 posies of mixed flowers were used, presumably because it would have been difficult to find any primroses still in flower.  Although the posies were said to be of wildflowers they contained a number of flowers, including lily-of-the-valley (Convallaria majalis) and forget-me-not (Myosotis sylvatica), which were probably of garden origin.

A rather faded, undated photograph in the church of St John of Beverley at Harpham has the caption:  ‘A token of appreciation for each generation of children who from your village each year have picked primroses to place on the tomb of St John of Beverley in Beverley Minster.’

On Thursday, 11 May, ‘the Minster Choir sings Choral Evensong at St John of Beverley, Harpham, birthplace of St John of Beverley.  The commemoration begins with prayer’s at St John’s Well at 7 p.m.’

Edited 16 April 2019.

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