The dedication service for the newly restored bells of St. Mary, Bletsoe took place on Sunday 6th September 2015 at 9.30am and was conducted by The Right Reverend Richard Atkinson, the Bishop of Bedford. It was a pleasant sunny day and began with bell ringing from about 9am. Many ringers from around the area attended and we were delighted to be joined by Simon Adams, representative of John Taylors, Bell Founders, Loughborough.
Handbell ringing was attempted during the service but despite many hours of practice, this was not a complete success!!
During the dedication Simon Adams handed a bell rope to churchwarden Edward Bean, saying “Receive this rope as a symbol of the bells, frame and fittings now safely installed in this church. May they be well used by the ringers of this parish to call people to worship in this place.”
The churchwarden, Edward Bean then passed the rope to The Right Reverend Richard Atkinson, Bishop of Bedford, saying “Bishop, we ask you to dedicate these newly restored bells to the glory of God and to further the work of the church in this parish.”
The Bishop receives the bell rope saying, “In the faith of Jesus Christ, we do solemnly hallow and dedicate these newly restored bells to the glory of God, in the name of the Father and of the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”
The Bishop then handed the bell rope to Martin Bailey, the Rector of St. Mary, Bletsoe saying “Receive these bells as a sacred trust committed to you as the Rector of this church, and take care that they be ever used in God’s service and for his glory.”
The Rector handed the rope to Paul Vine, Tower Captain saying, “May these bells ever sound to the glory of God and to summon his people to worship, and may you, and all the ringers, be worthy of the ministry you carry out in the fellowship of God’s people in this place, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.”
The CCTV system was in place so that the parishioners could view the bell ringers and the bells in real time. There was also a small display showing information and photographs of parts of the project.
There was more ringing to finish, with coffee and biscuits (bell shaped of course) being served.