June 2021 News

Lisa Overton, Secretary of the Friends of St Mary’s, provides our latest news round-up:

The blessing of our new bells took place on 22nd May, and the next few weeks will see the bells hoisted up through the tower hatches to their new hanging frame, followed by final adjustments, and the start of practice by Colin Dixon’s team of bell ringers. We hope many parishioners will enjoy the sound of the new bells ringing out across our woods and fields.

INAUGURATION OF THE BELLS

On 10th September, a service of inauguration will take place. This will complete our major project on the tower of St Mary’s, and our thanks must go to all those who have supported and contributed over recent years – it has been a terrific achievement.

CHURCHYARD PROJECT

Our next project is to clear the ground on the south side of the churchyard following the removal of the fir trees: we have made a start, but there is plenty more to do and we would welcome any volunteers to help with this during the summer. Rewards for the hard work include tea, coffee and cakes, and the opportunity to bag up and take away some rather good compost. When finished, we will be able to complete the yew hedge round the church yard, planting in the autumn, repairing the stone wall next to the cemetery, and planning the provision of an eco-loo for community use.

AGM (25th July)

We plan to hold this year’s AGM at 5pm on Sunday 25th July (not the 11th as previously advertised) with Evensong, in the church – and what a blessing that will be.

Further events, we hope, will follow in the late summer and autumn, so please keep an eye on our website.

SAVE THESE DATES

  • Saturday 28th August: Pimms Tent at the Hawkesbury Show
  • Sunday 19th December: FOSM Service of Nine Lessons and Carols

JUNE SERVICES

We are delighted that we are now able to hold services in St Mary’s again. Please bring masks when you come to church and obey the social distancing rules. Our sidesmen will help to keep everything in order.

6th – 9.30am – Holy Communion
13th – 6pm – Evensong
20th – 9.30am – Morning Praise
27th – 6pm – Festal Eucharist
4th July – 9.30am – Holy Communion

Online video services will continue to be streamed at 10am at www.youtube.com/c/badmintonbenefice

Watch the Blessing of the New Church Bells Online

You’re warmly invited to enjoy a rare opportunity to watch the blessing of our new church bells online, via this wonderful recording made by our Choirmaster Ben Humphries.

This special ceremony, for which the bells were adorned with flowers, involved naming the bells, christening them with holy water and anointing them with oil.

So rare is the ceremony that our vicar, the Rev Richard Thomson, had never done one before, and our highly experienced bellringing teacher James Joynson had never witnessed one.

Despite the Covid-related restrictions on numbers for the congregation and the choir (the six ladies allowed to sing sounded wonderful), this historic service was truly celebratory, and it was a joy to see the fruit of four years of careful planning and fundraising. Special thanks to the generosity of John Appleby, without whom this project would not have been possible.

The service has now been watched by friends of St Mary’s around the world. You too may now relive the experience and enjoy it at your leisure via YouTube here:

(Find out more about Ben Humphries and his videography at his website: http://www.bhwh.co.uk)

New Bell Assembly

The assembly that will bear our new bells has been completed by specialist bell hangers Matthew Higby & Company of Radstock in Somerset. It will now be carefully taken apart again and transported to Hawkesbury, where it will be reassembled in our recently restored tower. The people in this photo by Ian Macfadyen show just how enormous the assembly is.

Meanwhile, the bells themselves are getting ever closer, due to arrive on Friday morning. (We’re not envying the lorry driver that has to bring 8 big bells down the lanes on his truck!)

If you’d like to view the bells on the ground, for the last time before they are hung aloft for centuries, come down to the church between 11 and 3 on Saturday 22nd, Sunday 23rd, Monday 24th and Tuesday 25th May, or at evensong at 6pm on Sunday. Exciting and historic times for Hawkesbury!

To find out more about the highly specialised craftsmanship of Matthew Higby & Company, visit their website: www.bellhangers.com.