The Bells of St. Peter’s
Our happiest church news of this year has concerned the church bells. Thanks to the enormous generosity of a local campanology enthusiast, Michael Royalton-Kisch, our ancient bells are now returned to their former glory. First they were removed, re-tuned and generally refurbished, following which there was a service to “baptise” them before they were replaced in the church tower to recommence ringing after many years of silence. To conduct this sevice we were honoured to have the Bishop of Lewes, Rt. Rev William Hazlewood, and the Archdeacon of Lewes, the Ven. Martin Lloyd-Williams, together with the Rev Mary Sitwell.
On Wednesday 24th March at 9.45 am the newly hung bells were pealed for the first time. The most recent previous peal is thought to have been in 1958, which again was the first for 30 years. A small audience gathered in the churchyard to listen; we hoped than what was on that day a historic occasion would become a regular event in the life of our church.
As indeed it now seems to be: on August 1st a service of re-dedication was held, attended by a packed congregation, led by the Bishop and Archdeacon of Lewes and the Rector, the Reverend Geoff Daw, and accompanied by a professional organist and choir. The bells were pealed, together with a set of handbells, as part of the service and afterwards several groups of visiting bell-ringers continued pealing, while the congregation and participants were invited to drinks and refreshments in the gardens of Monk’s House. We are all hugely grateful to Michael for his kindness in restoring to us one of the glories of our church.
To learn more about the church and its bells, please click here