On the day that the Society of Mary* made its first visit to St Hilda’s, Cross Green, a young alter server celebrated his first day in unusual style.
Churchwarden Felicity Greenfield says, “It was Innocent's first day as a boat boy*, and evidently he has higher aspirations as he tried on all the clergy headwear including the Bishop’s. He certainly stole the show!
“The Society of Mary was visiting St Hilda’s with its national October Devotion. As the weather was too wet and windy to go around the parish, Our Lady was processed round the church.
"The Mass was sung by members of Horsforth Choral Society."
Pictured below with Innocent are Bishop Robert Ladds (Superior General of the Society of Mary & a former bishop of Whitby) and Father Brian Bell (Vicar of Monk Bretton & a Guardian of the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham.)
In the Anglo-Catholic tradition, the boat boy or boat bearer is a junior altar server who assists the thurifer (the senior altar server who carries the thurible).
The boat boy carries the boat, a small metal container, which holds the grains of incense which are transferred onto the red-hot charcoals in the thurible.