A Curate’s Tale

40 Joe and Ian with bell on truck GC

July 13th: Transport day. Joe and Ian take the first bell to the lorry on a pallet truck

Joe Knight, St Peter’s new curate, recounts his somewhat unusual introduction to life in Newnham

During my training to become a vicar I had no idea that in my first week I’d be at the top of the tower, wrestling with a giant steel bell frame, helping the team reclaim eight church bells. I knew the role would be varied, but I missed the module on bell restoration! However, I found myself in good company. Apart from Ian, our esteemed professional, our team of volunteers were highly enthusiastic amateurs. We found ourselves together in the dizzying heights of a new world, a world of great complexity, inspiring engineering, and heart-warming knowledge and care. Beforehand, I never knew the world of church bells was so thrilling. Generations of passed- down knowledge, technique and passion shape every bell ringing community, and the stories and dedication of the team and many keen visitors was inspiring. We ventured on, persevering with stubborn bolts, balancing precariously between bells and beams, recording every vital piece of the tremendous puzzle. When the last few hammers were placed on the lorry, we stood, I believe, proud and humbled by the task. I’m sure, like me, all those involved are looking forward to the return of the restored bells, where we will climb the tower once again, but this time, I hope the puzzle comes with instructions!

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About newnhambells

I am Chair of the Newnham Bells Restoration Group, which is launching an appeal to guarantee the future of bell ringing in this village, which is rich in history, beauty and tradition.
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