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Peter Palmer Celebrates 50 years

September 25th dawned bright and cheerful and many members went to St Albans Abbey for 50th Anniversary of Revd Canon Peter Palmer’s Ordination to the Priesthood celebration. It was a busy day at the Abbey and the Bride at the wedding before our service was ¾ hour late which meant we were delayed in getting to our seats. However the Lady Chapel was full, even the Dean found a space. Canon Peter presided over the service supported by 2 Archdeacons.  Jonathon Smith Archdeacon of St Albans gave the homily and David Gunn-Johnson,  Archdeacon of Barnstable (and who was Canon Peter’s first curate at St Matthews Oxhey) led the prayers.  Nonita Palmer was fine until the homily brought tears to her eyes and then this carried on when she watched all the people (120 of the 140 present) coming up for communion , remembering that each one had played some part in their lives. The service was followed by an excellent buffet in the Crypt. It took Canon Peter 10-15 minutes to get to the crypt as there was a long receiving line at the end of the service.  Unfortunately due to the timing Lindsay Kemp had to leave to be on hand at a wedding at St Mary’s Hemel so Philip Russell stood in to present our gifts to Canon Peter after the Toast. Philip allowed Canon Peter to open the present while he explained what it was.  A gold plated wooden handled paper knife -Gold for 50 years and the handle made from wood rescued from All Saints Leighton Buzzard tower after the fire there, his first Church. This brought a gasp from the audience as the significance of the gift was realised.

Peter Palmer celebrates 50 yuears in the Diocese

Philip then gave Canon Peter the red book with the words ‘this is your life’.  Paul Russell also gave Nonita Palmer a large vase of flowers as part of this presentation.   Canon Peter, for a moment , was lost for words as the gifts had been totally unexpected so he took a moment to collect his thoughts to reply to the toast. The Book was made available for anyone to look at for the rest of the buffet. I will arrange for Canon Peter to bring his gifts along to a future Branch Meeting so that members can see it for themselves.