Easter joy as the sun rises over Semerwater

Dave Clark, vicar of the Upper Wensleydale Benefice, with daughter, Amy, at the lakeside service.

By Betsy Everett

Around 60 people braved near-freezing temperatures for an Easter Day dawn service on the shores of Semerwater, near Bainbridge, led by the Revd Dave Clark, vicar of the four churches of Upper Wensleydale.

The day began with the moon still shining high above the lake, and Dave and his wife, Sarah, lighting two small fires on the waterfront to prepare a breakfast of fish and warm bread, recalling the story of Jesus sharing a similar meal with his disciples after the resurrection.

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As the service got underway, with celebratory hymns accompanied by Sarah on guitar and her son on a sound-box, the sun rose slowly over Addlebrough.

Dr Christine Hallas of Askrigg, who has travelled the world on wildlife expeditions, said it had been a “joyous” experience.

“On the road up to Semerwater a young hare bounded onto the road and kept going at about 20 miles an hour. I was happy: I had seen a wild animal which is usually the only reason I would get out of bed at 4.45am.

“I thought there might be ten or at the most twenty people there, but there were well over 50, including children. By the time the service was due many more folk had arrived and they just kept coming.”