HOPE Cove saw the three kings arrive at the slipway last Sunday as part of the Epiphany celebrations.
Members of the congregation from the Salcombe Benefice, including Hope Cove, Galmpton and Malborough gathered to celebrate the Epiphany and the baptism of Christ with a communion service packed into a full Methodist Chapel at Inner Hope Cove.
Following the service, members of the Benefice choir led the singing of ‘We Three Kings’ as everyone followed Father Daniel French, and the Rev Ruth Frampton down to the beach.
The Hope Cove lifeboat, including four crew members fully kitted out in case of a shout, transported three elegantly dressed kings - local ‘wise men’ Trevor Rendle, Graham Phillips and Clive Higgs.
Following the clergy depositing crosses fashioned from the top section of discarded Christmas trees, into the surf to bless the sea, they boarded the lifeboat joining the kings and crew.
The boat was then towed back up the slipway to the awaiting crowd where the three kings distributed gold and silver - well chocolate versions! - from their caskets to the onlookers.
Everyone then followed the lifeboat and returned to the Reading Room where coffee, tea and biscuits were served.
Father Daniel French said: ‘This was the second year we have celebrated Epiphany in this way and again were amazed at the amount of people who turned up. There was not a spare seat in the chapel.
‘We will certainly try and make this an annual event and we already have thoughts on next year’s service.’
The Rev Ruth Frampton added: ‘This was an absolutely great event on the nearest Sunday to January 6 and everyone had a really good time. The weather was again very kind to us and a drizzly shower only when people had left.’
The Epiphany is an ancient Christian feast day and is significant in a number of ways. In the East, where it originated, the Epiphany celebrates the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist in the River Jordan. It also celebrates Jesus’ birth.
The Western Church began celebrating the Epiphany in the 4th century where it was, and still is, associated with the visit of the magi or wise men to the infant Jesus when God revealed himself to the world through the incarnation of Jesus.