An 18th century school bell will ring out with authority once again after being blessed in a special ceremony.

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Reverend Joan Horan dedicated the bell to God at The Norman CofE Primary School in Northwold after two parents repaired the rope which had snapped.

The bell, which sits around 50ft above the ground at the front of the school, will now be rung by pupils at the beginning and end of the school day and at breaks and lunchtime.

Reverend Horan said there were close links between the parish and the school, and added: “With bells particularly it’s traditional to summon people to prayer and in a church school it’s going to ring when there’s an assembly or collective worship so as well as marking the day it is also a call to prayer.”

The service, which was watched by pupils, staff, parents and villagers, included smoking incense which was scattered over lighted coals in a thurible, and a fire engine from Methwold which squirted water at the bell.

Senior teacher Alex Bowles said that Northwold, near Brandon, had missed the sound of the bell which had been out of order for more than a year.

“It’s a source of great pride at the school that the bell rings every day,” he said. “The children love hearing it and I think it’s interesting we associate bells with churches so it’s part of our strong links with the church.

“We’re a modern school in a modern world but we like to have a hand in the tradition of the past and there’s no harm in that.”

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