After an absence of some four decades, a flag is once again flying from the tower of St Mary’s Church in Haverhill.
The St George’s flag was hoisted up its 15ft pole by the mayor of St Edmundsbury, Cllr Tim Marks, during a special ceremony on Friday (October 26).
During the ceremony, which was attended by Haverhill mayor Pat Hanlon, St Mary’s vicar, Reverend Canon Ian Finn and other invited guests, Rev Finn quipped that the 84-step climb to the tower’s summit had taken everyone closer to heaven.
He added: “Thank you to all those who have helped make this possible, on behalf of the church and I suppose on behalf of the people of Haverhill.
“This flagpole is a fitting tribute at the end of this Jubilee year.
“There was a flagpole here about 40 years ago and I think because it was too large and the pole too high and too heavy there were structural problems so it had to be taken down, but this is a new lighter one and this is not so high.
“It is a sign of where the town is going.
“It’s a great positive sign for the future. People all round Haverhill will be able to see the flag flying.”
The idea for the reinstatement of the flag and pole was first discussed by Rev Finn and Nick Keeble, from Haverhill Town Council.
Their musings led to the council agreeing to fund the purchase of the flags and pole and, after the diocese also agreed permission, the subsequent installation.
Speaking before the flag was raised, Cllr Marks said the new flag was symbolic of Haverhill’s ambition.
He said: “This is not just a flagpole, it’s Haverhill’s flagpole and it’s a sign of the rapidly growing importance of Haverhill and its economic position within the borough and beyond.
“It will not only fly the flag to represent important events, but it will fly the flag for Haverhill. Let’s look at this with due pride as we continue the positive upward trend of our town.”