The Mayor of Brentwood joined a local handbell ringers group to help ring in the New Year.
The Mayor, Councillor Noelle Hones, was visiting St Paul’s Church Centre, Bentley Common, to meet with Bentley Handbell Ringers to learn about the group and to see their collection of handbells. She was also treated to a performance of Good King Wenceslas.
The group were amongst those from across the borough who were given a share of more than £16,000 in community grants by Brentwood Borough Council on December 5th.
Bentley Handbell Ringers received £1,155 towards purchasing a new set of handbells so they can travel and perform around the borough. It will also go towards buying new sheet music and equipment.
The group was formed by Gail Farrow and Rowena Marshall who decided to meet to ring handbells on a regular basis and bring the community together. The church owns some handbells that were rarely used, which the group will be adding to and using for future performances.
Gail Farrow, leader of the group, said: “The award from the fund will make a huge difference to us as we are missing some important bells, which means we are very limited in what tunes we can ring. As well as new handbells, the award will also mean we can buy some music books that we desperately need and music stands.
The new bells will be ordered from Whitechapel Bell Foundry. We hope to be fully up and running in the new year. It’s so exciting that we can now make plans for the coming year.
We meet every Wednesday evening in St Paul’s Church Centre at Bentley Common and anyone who would like to join is will be very welcome. The group is open to anyone from any background. You don’t need to read music, just be able to count.”
Mayor of Brentwood, Councillor Noelle Hones, said: “Groups like The Bentley Handbell Ringers are good for our community as they bring people together whilst learning new skills.
They welcomed me to their meeting to see their collection of handbells and to see them perform. I realised it’s much more difficult than it looks and I was impressed.
They let me hear a performance of Good King Wenceslas, which was a joy to hear musically with the bells.”