The Clypping...and Painswick Feast

Clypping and the Painswick Feast

On the Sunday of the 19th September or the first Sunday afterwards, the ceremony of Clypping takes place in the Churchyard.  This is not to be confused with clipping which is something we do to the yew trees twice a year! 


Clypping is an old English word which means embracing and during the special service, everyone is encouraged to form a circle round the Church, hold hands and so clyppe or embrace the Church by dancing in time to and while singing the clypping hymn.  It is a way of showing our thanks to God for our Church and asking him to bless it.  It also reminds us that we are joined together as the community of Painswick.

We do not know how old the custom is but it was an annual event by the Victorian era. Although it fell into disuse in the 1860's, it was revived by Revd. Herbert Seddon in 1897 and has continued annually since then. The Clypping has always been very strongly linked with the Painswick Feast, a festive occasion held in the Churchyard with its own special traditions.  One of these is the eating of Puppy Dog Pie.  There are a number of suggestions of how this came about but rest assured if you visit and are offered puppy dog pie, there will be no canine parts in it!

The Feast died out some years ago, being revived in 2014, but the Clypping continued. Each year we invite all the village children to wear flowers in their hair or buttonholes and to be part of the procession and to help to encircle and "clypp" the church.