The Tower on the Hill : History Exhibition and Open Tower
During July and August our wonderful church has been open for local people to drop in and find out more about our history and the bells in the tower.
During the last few days of school, we had 120 visitors booked in from three different schools. Two classes from Kensington, two from Chaucer Junior and two from Chaucer Infants came to explore. One class engaged in the various activities you may have seen suggested at each of the ‘history stations’ while the other had a guided tour, hearing the history of the church in chronological order. They loved the story of the gravestone hidden in the pillar and the discovery of William Cantelupe’s monument after 150 years out on the old vicarage garden.
During the school holidays, the church has been open on Wednesdays. The local historians have had a book stall and a good number of people have come in. Younger visitors have enjoyed the craft and sticker books. Older visitors have been able to have a go at ringing the model bell (called a Wombel!)
The tower has been open on Thursday evenings and this has been well attended too. The visitors have been fascinated to see how the various methods are rung!
We are very grateful to Rachel who organised the event and liaised with local historian Steve Flinders; bell-ringer Richard Stevenson for organising the model bell, our local historians and all the other helpers who contributed. We would also like to thank the volunteers who helped to man the exhibition and David Bamford who also helped with publicity. It is always good to see our lovely old church being enjoyed by locals and visitors who may not normally come in.
Rachel Coupe, who has been our ‘Grace Worker’, has now completed her year of working with the young people and JC Club leaders here at St Mary’s Church. We thank her for all her hard work and wish her well in her next project.