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The Earl of Wessex visits the Horstead Centre

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Arriving at the Centre to mark 50 years of service to the young of people of the Diocese of Norwich and beyond, Prince Edward was greeted by Diocesan Secretary Richard Butler.

Before moving on to meet children who were staying at the centre and its members of staff, The Earl was introduced to the Chairman of Broadland District Council Councillor Barry Leggett, Mrs Judy Leggett, The Rt Revd Jonathan Meyrick, Chair of Trustees for the Horstead Residential Centre Mr Christopher Lawrence, and Horstead Centre Manager Mrs Josie Barnett.

From his initial introductions Prince Edward met some of the children who were busy making pilgrim bread and tasting popcorn, and who were also keen to say how they’d made it, how long it took and what it tasted like.

Children were also keen to tell the Prince of the other things they had done during their stay at the Centre such as rock climbing, going on the zip line, dressing up as pilgrims and showing the amulets that they had made.

Moving on into the lounge, Prince Edward was introduced to trustees and staff of Horstead and presented Mrs Elaine Cissell and Mr David Pearson with awards for their long service to the Centre.

A special prayer, written by Bishop Jonathan, was also read out by one of the children:

“May the God of adventure guide you on the zip wire of life, inspire you to new heights and goals, guide you through the difficult currents and bends of the rivers you travel on and fill you with the blessing of his love. Amen.”

Prince Edward said:

“It’s a great delight to be back here again and to be a part of your celebrations for your 50th anniversary. Congratulations on all of the work that you do and please do keep up this fantastic work.”

Christopher Lawrence said:

“Can I say on behalf of all the trustees and staff here at the Horstead Centre, thank you so much for coming back. Over the last five years since you last came, we have thrived – so if we could persuade you to come back in another five years, we will have taken over the entire village.

“But, it does mean so much to us for you to come here. Thank you very much.”