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A CATHOLIC church in Newport observed a Polish Easter tradition on Saturday.

Parishioners at St Patrick’s Church on Cromwell Road celebrated Święconka – or the blessing of the Easter baskets – for the fifth year running.

It started at the church when some Polish people living in the city arrived with their baskets at an Easter mass, to the surprise of Parish priest Father Brian Cuddihy. He blessed the food and since then the service has grown in popularity every Easter.

St Patrick’s is the only Newport church to observe the tradition.

On Saturday the food was blessed with holy water, after it had been laid along the church’s altar rail and blessed in a basket lined with white linen or a lace napkin and decorated with boxwood sprigs.

Sue Bell from the church said: “It was a really lovely, joyous occasion and those non-Polish parishioners who attended felt very privileged to witness it.”

And all foods in the baskets have a symbolic meaning. Eggs symbolise life and Christ’s resurrection, bread symbolises Jesus, salt represents purification, horseradish is symbolic of Christ’s sacrifice and ham represents great joy and abundance.