On Sunday 6 February 2011, a service of Thanksgiving and Dedication for the Ashwellthorpe Triptych facsimile was held in All Saints’ Church, Ashwellthorpe, led by the Reverend Jenny Cooper, at which the Preacher was The Rt. Reverend Graham James, the Bishop of Norwich. The congregation were welcomed at the door by the Churchwarden Ken Clarke and Reader Carolyn Skittrall whilst the organist Anthony Jarrold played the most beautiful music I had heard in All Saints. The church had never looked so splendid with its recently lime-washed walls, its tall plain glass windows, candles alight on the Altar and all the window-sills, together with the masterpiece copy of the Ashwellthorpe Triptych placed on a newly designed Altar Cloth in the Thorp Chapel.
The Bishop progressed along the nave to the Pulpit, led by the Choir who took their place in the Choir Stalls. The service took the form of readings from the Gospels of John, Luke and Matthew reflecting on the Seven Sorrows of Mary which are depicted on the central panel of the Triptych. The readers were Ken Clarke, Mary Griffiths, Daphne Morgan, Carolyn Skittrall, Elinor Thomas, John Webster and Margaret Webster. Interspersed with hymns and prayers, the service continued with a Sermon by the Bishop and the Blessing by him of the Triptych copy.
After the final hymn and the Dismissal, the Bishop and congregation stayed on for very tasty refreshments and friendly chat.
As mentioned below in the earlier notes about the facsimile Ashwellthorpe Triptych, thanks go to the Norfolk branch of The Art Fund for commissioning this copy – in particular to Mary Yule, a local volunteer with the Norfolk branch, who personally raised so much money from sponsorship by standing for an hour on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square, London, as part of the Anthony Gormley project in 2009. Generous financial support was received from the Norwich Town Close Estate Charity, The Art Fund, the John Jarrold Trust, the Anne French Memorial Trust, the Timothy Colman Charitable Trust and many individual donors from the local community and beyond, which has enabled the gift of this facsimile to All Saints’ Church.