Bishop Graham rings restored bells in Foxley

Bell Tuition FoxleyChurch bells which have remained largely silent for more than 60 years will ring out once more in the Mid Norfolk village of Foxley on January 26, when the Bishop of Norwich rededicates and rings the bells at St Thomas’ Church.

The Rt Rev Graham James, Bishop of Norwich will join the Foxley ringers (pictured) at a special evening service on Sunday January 26, 5.30pm to celebrate the restoration of the bells of St Thomas Church, Foxley in Mid Norfolk

Ringing will commence an hour before the service, which will also be the last service held in Foxley by Rector David Head who is moving on to another Benefice. 

Raising the funds for the restoration project took three years, with village fund-raising events, generous donations from local people and colourful glass bell mice made and sold by local stained glass artist, Anne Cormie

The Norwich Diocesan Association of Bell Ringers also gave a very generous grant which was the final amount needed to commence the restoration project.

The bells and bell frame were in a very poor state. Five of the bells had been cast in Norwich in 1755 but some were cracked and the tower floor was crumbling. 

The restoration work by Taylors of Loughborough started in middle of the very cold winter of 2013 and a large number of volunteers appeared each day to help the bell hangers.  Without all these willing volunteers the project would not have happened.

Tony Rushbrook, Churchwarden and new bell-ringer said: “Taylors did an excellent job and the bells were up and ringing again in May.  The bells have all been given names of the saints - Ambrose, Augustine, Gregory, Jerome, Thomas the Apostle and Thomas the Martyr - and have been lovingly restored to their former glory.

“The ringing band of Foxley, who are all new to bell ringing, have been helped by several kind tutors along the way and have had more than 250 visitors come to ring since the bells have been back.” 

The ringers now practise once a week on Wednesday evening, ring for services and welcome visiting tower bands each month.

Tony said: “One ringer, who has rung at all the towers in East Anglia, had tried to ring in Foxley in 1952 but couldn’t as the bells were unsafe so he came along to a practise in the summer having waited 61 years to ring these bells.”

St Thomas, Foxley, NR20 4QP

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