Vicar revives beer and carol tradition in Norwich parish
The tradition of wassailing, drinking beer and carolling, is being revived by Rev David Austin, Vicar of St Augustine’s Church, near Anglia Square, with a free community event called ‘Come Ye Merry’ on December 20 at The Catherine Wheel pub.
The Catherine Wheel, the last remaining medieval pub on St Augustine’s Street near Anglia Square, will host the first "Come Ye Merry.., (a Wassailing Event)" in partnership with the parish church, St Augustine’s on Wednesday, December 20 at 8pm.
This free community event of beer and carolling, with live music, is the idea of Rev David Austin, Vicar of St Augustine’s Church and neighbouring St Luke’s Church. It will revive the medieval tradition of wassailing in St Augustine's Parish, an ancient folkloric tradition which is known to have been practised in England at Yule time since the Middle Ages.
Wassailing involved the ritual drinking of a punch made of mead, cider or beer from a special wooden bowl into which pieces of honey or sugar and bread known as ‘sops’ had been dunked. The memoirs of Obadiah Short, born in the St Augustine’s parish in 1803, document his memories of wassailing tradition.
Rev David Austin said: "I am excited about this event which is pregnant with possibilities. This is the first time this event has been held in the area and by the Parish Church.
“I am expectant of a good turnout as the local community join together in the season of praise and adoration - making room for Christ in our hearts and in the Inn. After all, He is the Reason for the Season".
On the night there will be a charity raffle to raise funds for refugee families in Norwich.
The Catherine Wheel, 61 St Augustines St, Norwich NR3 3BG