Bell-ringing planned for 1,000-year-old church

St Mary's Church at Houghton-on-the-Hill. Picture: Ian Burt

St Mary's Church at Houghton-on-the-Hill - Credit: Archant

A 1,000-year-old church is reopening its doors, kickstarting a new events programme which will include the chance to ring its 14th Century bell.

The 11th century church of St Mary’s, Houghton-on-the-Hill, near Swaffham, will be reopening after lockdown on May 17. 

The bell-ringing will follow a dedication by the Reverend Stephen Thorp, at 2pm on May 29.

Trustee Kate Gordon said: “Visitors will be encouraged to tour the church and garden, marvel at the wall paintings and have a go at ringing the bell themselves, for a small donation.”

The church’s story recently came to wider notice following Bob Davey’s death in March. 

Mr Davey led the rediscovery and restoration of St Mary’s, through which the remains of 11th Century wall paintings were uncovered.

The church will remember Mr Davey at its annual Thanksgiving Service on July 18.

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A July concert is also planned.

“The trustees are delighted to invite everyone to visit this architectural and historic gem,” said Ms Gordon.

The church will open every afternoon from 2pm to 4pm until the end of October, with volunteer guides on hand.