ABOUT 300 Scouts from the Wiltshire North District packed out the Church of the Holy Cross at Sherston for a St George’s service and parade.

Heavy rain affected Sunday’s parade, which was shortened, but Scouts groups, dressed in uniforms and carrying colourful standards, made a cheerful sight inside the church.

Groups from Colerne, Cor-sham, Malmesbury and Crud-well attended, as well as the 1st Sherston Scouts, who entertained with a play about St George and the dragon.

John Inslip, district commissioner for the Wiltshire North District, said the service was a chance for members and leaders to renew Scouting promises.

He said: “We had to curtail the parade because the weather turned torrential, but we still had a good number of people.

“The main thing is that we have renewed our promises and we committed to obey the Scouting laws. It also gives everyone that feeling of fellowship, that we all try and do our best for the young people.

“It gets all the young people, the Cubs, Beavers and Scouts, together and suddenly they realise they are part of a bigger organisation than they normally see.”

The Wiltshire North District covers ten Scout groups and has a St George’s service every year. The last was in Chippenham.

Each group has its own standard and these were laid on the altar during the service, which included a mixture of traditional and modern hymns.

Mr Inslip said: “The district is 55 miles across and one of the things that I wanted to try and do was let different areas have a share of the honour of having the parade. The difficulty is finding places where you can get more than 300 people in.

“As far as the Scouting Association is concerned, some districts have done things in the past like hold a Scout Olympics rather than a church service.

“From my point of view it’s important to try and keep some of our traditions going and support the church which supports the community.”