Four Shires Guild of Bell Ringers

  1. TOC
  2. back
  3. next

"OH HAPPY BAND OF PILGRIMS..." - The Guild Walking Tour

This year's outing, on Saturday 1st October, started at St Peter's Church, Willersey. Thank you to Peter McFadzeen for opening the tower for us and joining in the ringing. After the obligatory photocall we returned to the village hall to grab a quick cuppa at the RAFA coffee morning - how kind of them to cater for us! We then walked the very pleasant 2 miles or so into Broadway.

By now it was getting very warm and to beat the crowds we stopped off at The Crown and Trumpet, conveniently located en route to our next church, and sat outside to enjoy a cool drink and a pub lunch.

Then it was on to St Eadburgha's, the old church of Broadway, beautifully located in a timeless setting and just decorated for the Harvest Festival taking place the following day. This is a central ring, rung from the Crossing, and the pews have to be moved out of the way before ringing can commence.

We then took to the paths again cutting across to the top end of Broadway High Street and up the old road up the hill.

The path from there passes through the Farncombe Estate with its wonderful views across the Vale and to the distant Malvern Hills.

We reached our last tower, St Nicholas's Saintbury, a little further on. This is now a closed church but it has recently been taken over by the Churches Conservation Trust. Very many thanks to Robert Chadburn for opening up for us and making our 8th ringer, as Peter Kenealy had had to leave us after Broadway. To ring on 8 is a rarity for some of us and these bells really do sound wonderful.

The final leg of the walk was a gentle stroll downhill, to pass back through the churchyard of St Peter's, Willersey, reaching our cars within a couple of minutes of the estimated finishing time.

Thank you to everyone for making the day so enjoyable: Ted Copson, Peter Keneally, Chris Povey, Ginny White, Juliet and Chris Reynolds, Stuart and Michael Cummins and to Peter McFadzeen at Willersey and Robert Chadburn at Saintbury. This was a day to remember, with wonderful (record breaking) weather and three beautiful churches all with lovely bells.

Report by Wendy Mace
Photos by Stuart Cummings

(This was my first Guild Walk and I found it extremely enjoyable. The ringing was in many ways incidental, as the walk itself was quite enchanting. As Wendy says above, it would have been nice to have had more on the tour. You (the wider FSG membership) should give this event a try. You definitely missed a glorious one this time. Ed)