HRH The Duke of Gloucester visits Piddinghoe church

St John the Evangelist Piddinghoe welcomed HRH The Duke of Gloucester to see the refurbished bell tower and hear the six bells ring on Monday, October 30.

Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester, viewed the exhibition of photos of the bells and the oral history project, which brought together students from Seahaven Academy in Newhaven and villagers to share their stories: why the bells and the church are so important to the community and how stories will be passed onto the next generation.

At the end of his visit, he was presented with a book with highlights of the gathered memories and experiences of the community.

Pupils from Harbour Primary School shared the ancient skills of handbell ringing, which they have been taught as part of the project and after the visit and in the evening, a thirty-minute documentary film was shared with the children and the village.

This has been made possible by the support of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, The Chalk Cliff Trust, BN9 Creative Newhaven and all the supporters of the restoration fund for the church bells.

Brigid Simmonds OBE, funding co-ordinator and Secretary to the PCC, said: “To hear the bells ring out across the valley, meet all those who have made this possible and hear from the children and students who have taken part in the Oral History project and learned to ring hand bells, is an honour for us all. We are as ever grateful to The National Lottery Heritage Fund, The Chalk Cliff Trust and funds from BN9 Creative Newhaven, for their support.”

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