Our service of thanks to celebrate the importance of the river to the existence, work and leisure of Teddington took place on Sunday 11 July and was a great success.  Please view photos of the service taken to mark this annual blessing and read a review of the service by Peter and Sue Stevens.

Peter and Sue Stevens wrote: 'After initial concern about whether the complicated technical arrangements for the 5th River Blessing Service were going to work, all was well.

Due to Covid restrictions arrangements were a little different, so the service started as normal, but then a small group consisting of the Rev. Caroline Halmshaw and representatives of several local organisations with Thames connections, went down to the river, while the rest of us remained in church. Organisations involved were the RNLI, Royal British Legion, Tamesis Yacht & Canoe Club, Sea Cadets and the Thames Boat Project. Meanwhile the Rev. Chris Kennedy preached about the important role the river plays in local life, providing opportunities for work and play. He emphasized the river’s healing role, especially in lockdown. The choir sang two appropriate spirituals, a real pleasure to listen to. With the party on the pontoon, kindly offered to us by The Boat Shop, the technical link was established, at first with vision but no sound. However soon, with a backdrop of a myriad variety of boats we all heard the river being blessed. A cross adorned with orange and yellow flowers was tossed into the river, followed by flowers from the other organisations.

Fortunately the weather was kind, and the pictures reminded us what a busy place the river is. Most people use it sensibly, but we remain grateful for the services of the RNLI who rescue both people and animals (do you remember Sammy the seal and the stranded minke whale?)

We would like to thank Katherine Matthews for all the time and energy she put into organising this service, and also the technical team concerned. It was a heart-warming experience.'