Plague Sunday

Plague Sunday

Last Sunday in August
When the plague reached the village of Eyam, Derbyshire, England, in 1665, about three-fifths of the town's population was wiped out. But under the leadership of Vicar William Mompesson, the villagers displayed both courage and selflessness, voluntarily isolating themselves from other villages in the parish and requesting that their food and medical supplies be dropped off at a point outside the village. The disease eventually became so virulent that the vicar had to hold open-air services for his dwindling congregation in a place up in the hills known as Cucklet Dell.
Every year on the last Sunday in August, a procession of clergy, standard bearers, choir members, and musicians forms at Eyam's parish church and slowly proceeds up the road leading toward the Dell. Hundreds of villagers, tourists, hikers, cyclists, and parents with baby carriages fall in behind them, finding seats on the grassy slopes of the Dell's natural amphitheater. A simple sermon pays tribute to the plague victims and the 74 villagers who survived.
CONTACTS:
Exam Church
Parish Office, Church St.
Eyam, Hope Valley S32 5QU United Kingdom
44-14-3363-0930; fax: 44-14-3363-0930
www.spanglefish.com
SOURCES:
DictDays-1988, p. 89
YrbookEngFest-1954, p. 116
References in periodicals archive ?
Each year the heroism of the villagers is commemorated by a Plague Sunday Service.