Leigh Hatts  

Boxing Day is St STephen’s Day

A £2 Isle of Man coin features Hunting the Wren tradition

The Isle of Man has issued a £2 coin depicting the Boxing Day custom of hunting the wren.

This is no longer a cruel tradition involving killing a bird but an opportunity for community dancing, dressing up and ‘penny for the wren’ charity collections.

The revived custom is also observed in Dublin’s Sandymount Green where the day is known only as St Stephen’s Day.

Stephen the Deacon was the first person to die for the faith brought to us by the birth of Jesus so this second day of Christmas is an opportunity to think about the implications of Christmas.

This morning there are services in many churches but especially in those dedicated to St Stephen in Blackpool, Bournemouth, London’s Gloucester Road and Vienna.

Ripon Cathedral follows its St Stephen’s Day Eucharist with a walk to Fountains Abbey, first undertaken in 1132, attracting around 2,000 people.

St Stephen is the patron of deacons, altar servers, CAFOD and the House of Commons

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