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:

The Arrival of Our New Bells

After extended and energetic fundraising, and thanks to the generosity of kind donors, grant-making bodies and individuals, St Mary’s Hawkesbury is about to take delivery of a new ring of eight bells, which will be installed in the newly restored and refurbished tower during the spring and summer.

The bells have been cast especially for us in Italy, are currently being tuned in Somerset, and will arrive at St Mary’s late May, where they will go on public display at ground level before they are installed in the tower.


This will be the only chance you have to see them on the ground for the next few centuries!

To enable as many people as possible to take advantage of this opportunity, the church will be open over four days at the following times:

  • Saturday 22nd May – 11am-3pm
  • Sunday 23rd May – 11am-3pm & 6pm for Evensong
  • Monday 24th May – 11am-3pm
  • Tuesday 25th May – 11am-3pm


On the evening of Saturday 22nd, there will also be a service for the bells to blessed by the Bishop. You are also welcome to view the blessing service via a live feed on Youtube via this link:

You can follow the Order of Service via the following link, and also print it as a downloadable pdf as a souvenir:

May 2021 News

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

As restrictions on our lives begin to ease, we hope very much to be able to resume some activities for the Friends of St Mary’s, and we would like to thank everyone for their patience and continued support through the past difficult year.

Our reward is seeing the conservation of the tower and refit of the vestry of St Mary’s complete and looking so good.

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 – what a blessing that will be!

We also hope to open St Mary’s at weekends during the summer months.

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


Saturday 28th August: Pimm’s Tent at the Hawkesbury Show

Sunday 19th December: FOSM Service of Nine Lessons and Carols


The Friends of St Mary’s, founded in 1980, exists to raise funds for the fabric and preservation of St Mary’s church, and is open to anyone to join (you don’t have to be a church-goer, though you would be very welcome!)

We have members from far afield who have particular affection for this special building and its history, and who value its place in the fabric of our village and community.

For details of membership, click here. 


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.

2nd – 9.30am – Holy Communion
9th – 6pm – Evensong
16th – 9.30am – Morning Praise
23rd – 8pm – Evensong
30th (No service at St Mary’s

Online video services will continue to be streamed at 10am at

PLUS Midweek services on Zoom – every Wednesday at 9.30am
(Please contact the Vicar if you would like to attend)