Chaplaincy team at heart of the Royal Norfolk Show
An ecumenical chaplaincy team has been invited into the heart of Royal Norfolk Show with a new chaplaincy tent on the lawn of the Vice Presidents’ Pavilion.
Show chaplain, Rev Suzanne Cooke, from the Upper Tas Valley Benefice, co-ordinates a team of chaplains which includes Baptist, Salvation Army, Quaker, Methodist, Anglican and Catholic members.
At last week’s event they were based in a new chaplaincy centre for the two days of the Show which attracted around 84,000 visitors.
“We are a visible presence at the Show, talking to people, being nice, smiling,” said Suzanne. “Sometimes people don’t want to speak to you but often they do and you can have incredibly profound conversations.”
Suzanne is chaplain to the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association, and therefore chaplain to the Show and has co-ordinated the ecumenical team for the last three years.
“I always think that the Show is a microcosm of Norfolk life – all of Norfolk life is concentrated into these two days – it is a crazy, diverse place,” she said.
“But there is a real job to do – it is not just saying grace. The role has changed over the last five years – it is important to be here because the place of the Christian faith in our county is important. People in Norfolk love their churches but sometimes don’t realise how important people in my role are until they need us,” said Suzanne.
“We help define rural and village networks because we know so many people we can move between different groups – which is a great honour and privilege.
Pictured above is the ecumenical team by the Chaplaincy Centre at the heart of the Royal Norfolk Show and, above, Rev Suzanne Cooke.