pax cakes

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The churches of King's Caple, Hentland, Sellack, and Hoarwithy—all now in Hereford and Worcester—have a tradition of distributing small buns on Palm Sunday after the morning service; they are called pax cakes, signifying reconciliation and goodwill. It was established in 1570 by a local landowner, Lady Scudamore; in the 19th century, local farmers provided cider and ale (Leather, 1912: 97–8). After lapsing in the early 20th century, the Hentland custom has been revived, and is now well kept up both there and at Sellack, where cider too is given. The distribution is made as the parishioners leave church, the vicars saying to each, ‘God and good neighbourhood’, or ‘Peace and goodwill’.

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