Bell ringing in Tunstead

A group of peripatetic bell ringers visited St Mary’s Church, Tunstead today, 12th July.
I visited the church to capture the event in sight and sound.

St Mary’s Bell Rope Frame

Here is a sample of the sights and sounds of the “Engine Room”. The Ringing Master was kind enough to let me into the hallowed realm usually reserved for the bell ringing fraternity.

Here is an audio recording from the engine room. Listen out for the Ringing Master calling the changes.

Aubrey Foster restored and maintains the bells at St Mary’s. It took him and his friends 6 years to complete the task, but it is well worth it.

The bells will be rung again for the wedding on 29th July.

Here is a recording of the bells being rung at the wedding on 29th July 2017.


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Church team tidies up

I popped along to Tunstead’s St Mary’s Church to offer a helping hand. It was part of the preparations for a busy month at the church.

Keeping the church spruce falls into two principle activities; work on the inside and work on the grounds. Whilst the fabric of the church has to remain untouched, as the building is hundreds of years old and is left to the experts, there is still plenty to do.

Jobs inside the church get done on the morning of the day before a service to make it presentable for the small but faithful congregation. There is cleaning, sweeping and dusting to do. The cathedral-like size of the church means that the more hands there are to share the work, the better.

Outside there is the regular activity of grass cutting, and tree trimming. This too, is left to experts with the skill and means to do it. However, today we were there to clear away the moss and ivy from the concrete plinth that surrounds the church. This keeps the area presentable, as well as preventing the growth from getting a foot-hold on the precious stone-work. Some of this clearing work had already been done on a previous occasion, so we concentrated on the north side of the church. Moss tends to collect on the flat concrete as this area remains damp because it is often in shadow. Again the stone-work of the building is left alone so to prevent unnecessary damage. The team set-to and whilst it was quite hard work, the moss, weeds and ivy were soon eradicated.

We also checked and cleared blocked gullies and downpipes which if left unchecked would allow water from the roof to spill onto the area around the base of the church, so exacerbating the problem of damp in which the moss would thrive.

Once we had done a circuit of the church foundations for a final check, we felt that the morning’s work was well done, and stopped for a coffee and a chat before departing. We had a team of over half a dozen, and work shared meant less time was needed to get things done.

One of our number left before coffee

During coffee we discussed the coming events for July. Firstly is Evensong. This service starts at 6:30pm on 9th July. Later that week; Wednesday 12th July, is bell ringing. This is an exciting occasion as a group of touring bell ringing experts will demonstrate their skills for half an hour or so “ringing the changes”, using St. Mary’s eight bells. This event starts at 4:00pm, and refreshments will be available. Later in the month the church will be prepared for a wedding on the 29th. Sunday 30th the church whose doors are always open anyway, will have a public display of the flowers used to decorate the church for the previous day’s wedding ceremony This event runs from 2:00pm until 4:00pm. St Mary’s also hosts its monthly Sung Eucharist Service which starts at 10:30am on the 30th.

Please come along to the open house on Wednesday 12th at 4:00pm to listen to the bells or pop along on Sunday 30th to view the flower displays. Of course you are welcome to any of the church’s regular Sunday services.

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Driver and Riding Training

Did you know about Norfolk County Council’s driver and rider training schemes? I didn’t. There is a whole raft of schemes promoted by the Highways department of NCC.

  • Young drivers
  • Older drivers
  • Child seat checking service
  • Skid awareness
  • Court diversion schemes
  • Rider training

Take a look at the summary of services on the village web page –>

or drive directly to the Norfolk County Council’s driver/rider training page –>

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Tunstead’s busy church

Tunstead’s parish church; St Mary’s is going to be a hive of activity in July. There will be bell ringing (4:00pm, 12th July) and towards the end of the month; a grand wedding. The day after the wedding (2-4:00pm, 30th July) there will be a public viewing of the flowers that were used to  dress the church for the ceremony.

Later in the year (1st October) will be the Harvest Festival. A celebration of the use of the land in the manufacture of food and other items we use in our day to day lives.

In order to prepare the church for these events, there will be a church working party. The inside of the church and the grounds will be receive some attention; cleaning, polishing and tidying. To do this there is a need for additional volunteers to help the regular church-goers present our parish church in the best light for the visitors. The visitors may be making their first visit to the area, and it would be nice if people from the village could give a hand. I know it would be much appreciated.

The working party will be on Saturday 1st July at 10:00am. If a lot of people turn up then there will only be a couple of hours work to bring the church up to scratch for our visitors. So please spare some time. You don’t even have to stay for the whole session; come when you can, and go when you wish.

So see you there at 10:00am Saturday 1st July.

reviewed 21/6/17
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