Reverend Matthew Lawson once again on 27 Jun 2021 beautifully presented the Clopton Rose Ceremony as a meaningful part of his service. Because of his efforts and those of Richard Michette and other members of the Friends of Long Melford, the ‘one red rose rental’ - paid annually by the village of Hadleigh to the Clopton family - is alive and well, with Hadleigh’s Mayor offering not only the Rose due to and placed upon the effigy of our ancestor but a meaningful sentiment, as well.
The full service and Rose Ceremony are viewable on our Clopton Family Association Facebook page as well as on the Facebook page of Holy Trinity Church, Long Melford. We are all gratified that the tradition continues even though the COVID pandemic has continued to stall our plans to resume our beloved reunions. It is our hope that by June 2022 the CFA may once again join in celebration with our family and friends in Long Melford.
[The following was written in 2020 by CFA President Suzanne Sanders, but it bears repeating today.]
We are all so grateful to Reverend Lawson and Richard Michette for the video of the actual Ceremony. Although it does not take the place of being there in person, a certain satisfaction is felt in knowing that this remarkable tradition continues. The payment of the ‘red rose’ as rental to the Cloptons for the use of the Guildhall (owned by Sir William Clopton) has been authenticated as the longest, continuous rental agreement in the whole of England.
My best to each one of you, as we pray to emerge from the restrictions and sadness of the coronavirus blight upon our world.
In anticipation of future Clopton gatherings,
Suzanne Sanders, President
Clopton Family Association