Sunday May 27th was a very special occasion for a large number of people and for a number of local ringers. It was a unique event that will not be repeated for most of those who took part.
The Most Revd & Rt Hon Dr Rowan Williams Archbishop of Canterbury was the preacher at the morning Eucharist of Pentecost at a Service presided over by the Rt Revd Dr Christopher Cocksworth, Bishop of Coventry. Having one Bishop at a Tredington Service would have been special, but to have the Archbishop of Canterbury as well made it an unforgettable experience for us all.
It was important the bells welcomed the Archbishop as he walked down through the village from the Rectory; therefore plans were made well in advance. Tredington ringers are few in number and some members of the band had other duties to perform, so help was required. As the church is part of a group Benefice the invitation was extended to the Ilmington band and their regular supporters from Mickleton, to come to assist in ringing for the Service.
It has to be said that the Ilmington band took this request very seriously and even came to Tredington on their practice night, so those ringers not familiar with the bells could get the feel of them in advance. On the day about 15 ringers were in the tower from several other towers as well. A wide range of doubles methods was rung including a touch of St Simon's, which was very well struck. Ringing concluded prior to the Service with an excellent lower, followed by some chair shifting so that the last few of the 450 strong congregation could sit in the Ringing Chamber. For those of you that do not know, Tredington is a downstairs ring open to the nave so the best seats in the house were in there! The bells, with a 16cwt tenor, are not the easiest six to ring. There is a long draft, as the bells are hung at the base of the spire above the clock room making the handling difficult for the less experienced.
The Service included several well-known hymns and the singing from a combined Deanery Choir conducted by Julian Harris was a joy to listen to.
At the end of the Service everyone had the opportunity to shake hands with Dr Rowan Williams and both he and the Bishop of Coventry spent further time with everyone chatting over refreshments in the Rectory garden.
Tredington felt honoured to be chosen to host the Service during the Archbishop's weekend in the Coventry Diocese to celebrate the Jubilee of the Consecration of the New Coventry Cathedral. A memorable experience we will not forget.