Matthew was pleased to attend the annual Blessing of the Seas in Margate. The seaside town is the location for the service each year and is conducted by the Greek Orthodox community at Epiphany (6th January) to commemorate the baptism of Jesus Christ.
The service is lead by the Archbishop at the church of St Margaret the Archangel and then continues as a procession which includes clergy, worshippers, civic dignitaries and local people.
Matthew was delighted to be asked to release one of three doves that are part of the service as prayers were given. The triumph of the celebration is when the Archbishop casts a crucifix into the cold water three times, and this is retrieved by a young diver.
Matthew said; "Many constituents from the Hendon constituency usually attend this service but were not able to because of Covid. I am delighted that I was able to represent them at an uplifting and joyous occasion. The waters were chilly but those who were able to attend showed great warmth. I look forward to attending in future years when the full procession will return."