Religion: Commenmorating a Heroic Act

Pilgrims honor villagers who gave their lives to save others

Gerald Phizackerley, an Anglican archdeacon, stood last week near a rocky outcrop, surrounded by the heathclad hills and moors of the English Midlands, reciting a nursery rhyme:

Ring-a-ring of roses, A pocketful of posies, Atishoo! Atishoo! We all fall down.

There was no laughter from the congregation of 600 gathered in the field outside the village of Eyam. Some worshipers seemed close to tears, for this was a service to commemorate a rare act of heroism at the time of the Great Plague that struck...

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