Ding Dong Merrily On High

Quoted from the Salisbury Diocese weekly news sheet – the Grapevine

“It was a fitting hymn for the rededication of the much-loved bells at one of our Dorset churches. Bishop Karen (Bishop of Sherborne) led the service at St Mary’s, Lytchett Matravers, which started with Ding Dong Merrily on High, which certainly got the congregation in a celebratory frame of mind.”

It was a damp Sunday afternoon on January 26th when we welcomed 108 adults and 6 children to our service to Rededicate our Bells. Rev Stephen Partridge had put together a special service starting with Ding Dong Merrily on High. The bells were formally handed over by Terry Streeter of Taylor’s Bell Foundry to Stephen who then passed the rope to Bishop Karen for her blessing and to dedicate the bells to the ‘Glory of God’. Bishop Karen then passed the rope to Matt Riddell the Church Warden and then Debbie Phipps the Tower Captain. Rounds were then rung by the Lytchett Band.

Amongst our congregation were members from the Salisbury Diocese Guild of Ringers and East Dorset Branch – our novice band (now getting more experienced) could not have reached this point without the huge support we have received from both these groups. Also present were representatives from some of the Grant bodies who made this project possible and also individual donators. 

To enable our ringing to be up to scratch we thank Branch Chairman Ben Duke and Rosemary Duke, Gillian Richards and Branch Ringing Master Jack Pease to keep us on the right track. Jack also expertly organised the ringing during the afternoon giving the Lytchett band the opportunity to mingle with our visitors.

Our church volunteer refreshment ladies were helped by some of the ringers to produce a delicious tea following the service. We were delighted and grateful that Guild Secretary Vicki Rowse took so many excellent photos for us.

Bishop Karen tweeted at the end of the day ‘Enjoyable afternoon rededicating the bells of Lytchett Maltravers.  Great team effort to complete project and continue to make a joyful noise unto the Lord.  The bell biscuits and bell cakes were good too. Well done  @DioSalisbury’ To which a reply came from one of our church members  ‘It was a really moving & joyful service of rededication of the bells to a packed church. Yes! the cakes were yummy too, well done everyone

A perfect end to 18 months of Grant Applications, Events and Fundraising. May our bells ring out for many years to come to welcome people to our church and give joy to those who are listening.

Debbie Phipps (Tower Captain)

Click here to read Bishop Karen’s Sermon from this service