Thoughts from the Vicarage 43

Good afternoon friends of the Valley,

Psalm 122:1 I was glad …

when they said unto me, we will go into the house of the Lord.

St James the Greater will be open for private prayer on Saturday from 10 o’clock. Many thanks to all those who have volunteered to be on the rota. In each of our Valley churches all are welcome, those of all faiths or none. Thanks to all those supporting the re-opening of our village churches – it is much appreciated. The question I have been asked most often over the last ten days or so has been … yes, you’ve guessed it. When will the church be open?

Our fields and gardens *really* needed the rain today …

And what a day it has been at The Vicarage.

Lambourn bells come down for a while

This collection of images were taken by Andrew Snowdon.


Following a fruitful but lengthy zoom meeting I wasted not a minute in getting over to St Michael’s as I had a date with the bells! I was determined to see all four of the Beautiful bells … come down from the bell chamber, through the ringing chamber and down to ground level. They needed to go away for welding following an inspection which revealed dangerous cracks. After much hard work and perseverance from all those involved the day had arrived for them to leave the village to go to Newmarket.

Socially distanced and with great organisation all the equipment needed for lowering these mighty beasts was transported up to the bell chamber. Then the idea was to lower each bell. It may not be such a surprise for you to know that I have never witnessed such an operation. I may now report that bell lowering is not a fast moving spectator sport! But when things begin to happen it was an amazing awe inspiring site. The first was number 6 bell, then followed number 3, apparently called Betty by Amanda. It was a very personal moment as Betty was lowered, it was the bell upon which Amanda had learnt to ring! Then followed bells number 2 and 1.

The emotion was palpable – I’ve not heard these bells but even in the short time I’ve been in the village I’ve heard so many personal stories. Of lives which have been inextricably intertwined with these inanimate, but truly beautiful beasts I was watching. And if you’ve told me your story – I was thinking of you!

Finally, with all four bells lowered, at about 4.30 Jim Bracey’s flat loader was loaded with a cargo of four bells and off they went! Thank you to all those who have enabled this historic, once in a life time occasion to happen.

The next few days will see St Michael’s being made ready for re-opening on Monday morning at 9 o’clock when once again we will pray a blessing upon those who will be entering into their church at the heart of the village.

The Vicar will be on tour next week as follows …

  • Monday June 22nd All Saints East Garston 2.30 – 3.30
  • Tuesday June 23rd St James The Greater Eastbury 2.30 – 3.30
  • Wednesday June 24th St Michael & All Angels 2.30 – 3.30

Christine and I will continue to make ourselves as available as possible for conversation, spiritual counsel or simply a listening ear.

And finally … a prayer as we look forward to the ringing of bells throughout the valley

Incline your ears, O Lord, to our prayers, and grant that when the bells of your Church sound in this Valley the hearts of those who hear them may be awakened to worship you and that the faith and devotion of Christian people may be increased to the greater glory of your Holy Name, through Jesus Christ our Lord.


God bless,