Thursday, 18 March 2010

Little Thetford and Pastor Peter Cockerton - the man who changed my life, with help from others

Little Thetford is the sort of place one doesn't go to, unless one is going to Little Thetford. I went to Little Thetford today and I now wish that I had more reasons for going to Little Thetford. Going to Little Thetford is well worth it when one gets there (it's off the A10 from Cambridge to Ely), and I intend to go there again - and again - partly because I have been invited so to do.

My principal reason for going to Little Thetford today was to canvass the people and to deliver leaflets. But my first stop was at the home of dear friends, Peter and Rene Cockerton. Rene was born Miss Rene Stanford, a daughter of Henry and Phyllis Stanford, of Chapel Farm, River Bank, which is the home of Sue and I now. Rene married Peter Cockerton and Peter eventually became Pastor of the Baptist Church at Little Thetford. With the Stanford family's involvement with the much-loved 'Little Chapel in The Fen,' I suppose that it was inevitable that Peter, being a Pastor, would also become one of the Trustees of the said Little Chapel.

Following a suggestion from the late Mr Dennis Badcock, of Burwell, Sue and I started many years ago to attend the annual harvest services at the said Little Chapel. Following the retirement of the late Mr and Mrs Tom Butler of Swaffham Bulbeck as Trustees of the said Little Chapel, those who were left in charge of the said Little Chapel, Peter and Rene Cockerton and Alan and Daphne Wyatt, the latter of Landbeach, asked me to become a Trustee. I agreed and was honoured to have been asked.

Here is one of many pictures I have of the Little Chapel. The interior is as decorated for one of the annual harvest services.

Next came my retirement from more active farming at Bottisham. Sue and I thought about moving to the Suffolk coast. But then, on a visit to 'The Little Chapel in The Fen,' we noticed that Chapel Farm (just to the rear of the Chapel) was for sale.

To cut a long tale short, we bought Chapel Farm and moved in 1995. We love living in the Fens surrounded by all of the Fen wildlife (and no thanks to the National Trust for that).

So, if it had not been for Pastor Peter Cockerton and the others, Sue and I might now be living on the Suffolk coast, we might not be embroiled in a battle with the National Trust for the future of the Fens, and I might not be standing for election to Parliament here in South East Cambridgeshire.

It's funny how things turn out, but Sue and I are eternally grateful to all of our friends for how things have turned out.

Another of my pictures from today is of Little Thetford Baptist Church, of which Peter Cockerton was Pastor until recently. As you can see, it is a handsome edifice.

My day was not all Chapels, etc. It consisted largely of meeting many friends, old and new, and enjoying fascinating and stimulating conversation, some of it so confidential that it cannot appear on a blog.

I am going to Little Thetford again very soon.

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