Drayton pupils to ring restored handbells at carol service
The festive sounds of some recently found and restored handbells will be featured in a Carols by Candlelight Service in Drayton this weekend.
The bells were rediscovered at St Margaret's Church after being locked away there for many years, and at Sunday's service pupils from Drayton C of E Junior School, above, will ring them during the carols Silent Night, Good King Wenceslas and Christmas Bells.
The pupils are taking part in the annual service alongside St Margaret's Church Choir. The Rev David Wells, who will lead the service, said: 'It is our traditional service with the church lit by candlelight. The church always looks beautiful and this year the children are taking part, in addition to our choir. This is the second time the children have come to church with the handbells – the first time was in the summer.
'They sound lovely and are very atmospheric in the church.'
He explained the bells had been found in the loft earlier this year.
'We had a new ring of main church bells about 40 years ago and we think at the time the handbells were bought for the bellringers.
'The handbells may be more than 100 years old and from a London bell foundry.'
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Martin White, headteacher at the school, said the pupils were looking forward to taking part in the service.
'There is a very close link between the school and the church and it is good to show that link by the pupils taking part in the Carols by Candlelight Service,' he said.
The Carols by Candlelight service will be at St Margaret's Church, Drayton, at 6.30pm on Sunday.
PHOTO: SIMON FINLAY