The Bell Naming
The successful campaign to install a peal of six bells in the tower of St John's Church was celebrated on two special occasions.
The first, a Family Service on 27th March 2011, was for the naming and anointing of the new bells. These were arranged in an impressive line in the centre aisle. The Rev'd Stuart Lewis blessed the water for the baptism of the bells.
The Bradley Bell, The Rebecca Bell, the Katherine Mayo Bell, The Howard Bell, the Community Bell and the bell named ABODE were named, anointed and baptised. Prayers were offered for their future use.
Enthusiastic singing of “Ding, Dong Merrily on High” followed and at the close of the service the Rector entrusted the bells to the village and church community.
On 5th June 2011, when the bells and the new bell frame had been installed in the tower, a Centenary Service of Thanksgiving and Celebration was held. The Right Reverend John Packer, Bishop of Ripon and Leeds attended.
Church registers were carried to the altar as symbols of the life of the church before Mr John Hopkins, Chairman of the Bell Appeal and Project Leader, and Paul Butler, Churchwarden, presented the bells for re-dedication and dedication by the Bishop.
Three of the bells to be re-dedicated were formally at St Stephen's, Ewood Park and two were from Quarriers Village, Greenock. The new bell, the Community Bell, was cast by Taylors of Loughborough who also made the frame.
Bishop John climbed to the bell chamber in the tower to dedicate the Community Bell and the re-dedicate the re-named bells.
The treble bell rope was then passed to the Churchwarden and to the Tower Captain, Mrs Emma Brennan. The band of bell ringers committed themselves to future service. The congregation joined in an Act of Dedication before the blessing and a rousing closing hymn.
The bells rang as the congregation gathered in the churchyard to enjoy refreshments.