Historic church bells renovated after 300 years: A day of festivities is planned for the occasion

After 300 years, the historic bells at St John the Evangelist church in Piddinghoe have been renovated, renewed, and re-installed, and a day of festivities is planned to commemorate the occasion.
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On the 22nd July, thanks to a grant from the Newhaven Arts Growth Fund, ‘Ring in the New’ will feature something for everyone. Families can participate in a free art workshop led by Hayley Cox from Natural Connection Sussex.

Ben May, a representative of the Piddinghoe Bells project, said: "We're thrilled to be working with Tide Mills Choir and the wonderful Bells ensemble from Harbour Primary school to bring Christopher Moore's World premiere of ‘Songs for Piddinghoe’ to the village. A genuine collaboration between artists, local singers and children as a powerful response to our diverse and collective history, memory and culture. Absolutely brilliant!”

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Join Hayley from 3pm on The Hoe in Piddinghoe and create an ephemeral piece of natural art that will be offered to the river. Attendance is free, but booking is essential.

Piddinghoe - Ring in the New. Photo: Iris VisualsPiddinghoe - Ring in the New. Photo: Iris Visuals
Piddinghoe - Ring in the New. Photo: Iris Visuals

The centrepiece of the celebrations will be the world premiere of ‘Songs for Piddinghoe’; a new musical composition by Christopher Moore of VOCES8. Performed by Tide Mills Choir alongside Harbour Primary School, the piece draws inspiration from the stories, experiences, and lives of the community, and will take the audience on a musical journey through the village’s history.

The performance will take place from 6pm to 7pm at St John the Evangelist. Tickets are free but the church is small, so head to eventbrite.com to book your spot. The festivities conclude with a Ceilidh on The Hoe from 8pm.

Everyone is invited to join in the shindig, accompanied by the fantastic tunes of London-based band Licence to Ceilidh. Tickets are £10 for adults and £5 for children and concessions, including food and drink. Tickets for all three events are available by searching Ring in the New at eventbrite.com.

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The celebrations have been made possible by an award from the Newhaven Arts Growth Fund, which is now in its second year of funding from the Newhaven Enterprise Zone. Ring in the New is just one of five grassroots arts projects to receive an award this year.

Ring In The New – A Celebration on Sat 22 July, from 3pm-10.30pm at Piddinghoe Village, Newhaven. Tickets available via eventbrite.com.


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