Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Leicester's Big Day Out Was Superb

Brilliant sunshine and crowds of people marked the Big Day Out, held in the lovely Abbey Park, by the River Soar in Leicester.

This was the major event of the year known as Celebrate 80, designed to celebrate eighty years since Leicester regained its Bishopric.

There had been Bishops in Leicester during the Anglo-Saxon period, one of whom was the great St. Wilfrid, but the Danish occupation put paid to that, with the Bishop moving to Dorchester on the River Thames.

In 1926, Leicester became the centre of a Diocese again, when a portion of the Peterborough Diocese, roughly equivalent to the county of Leicestershire, was hived off.

The Big Day Out included talks and marquees with displays from individual churches and organisations with church affiliations.

Dave Andrews of BBC Radio Leicester worked very hard at compering the proceedings, helped by Monica Winfield, John Florence and Martin Ballard.

But the highlight was the visit by Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, accompanied by Tim Stevens, the Bishop of Leicester. Dr. Williams conducted the open air service.

I am delighted to say that the colourful vestments worn by both the Archbishop and the Bishop, as well as the banners on the stage, had been designed and made by Anne Crosby, who just happens to be my wife!

Dr Williams was so taken with his vestments that he decided to keep them.

All in all, it was a magnificent day.