From Keith our organist

5 Jul 2023 • Other News

From Keith our organist:

Why are an organist’s fingers like lightening?

Because they never strike twice in the same place!

Since mid-May, when the annual sequence of snowdrops, primroses, daffodils, and bluebells came to an end, the grass in the churchyard has taken off like it has never done before, and we would like to reassure families that we are onto it.This is in stark contrast with last year when grass needed cutting hardly at all during weeks of drought.As a result of last year’s conditions, butterflies are far fewer in many counties, but in mid-June, we’ve seen the first ‘Meadow Browns’ and vivid red and black ‘Six Spot Burnet Moths’ in the churchyard.Weather conditions this year have favoured teasels, although not quite where we want them to be, and roses and orchids in gardens and adjacent fields have flourished.

As far as butterflies are concerned, may I name drop regarding a recent encounter with the rather acidic and highly entertaining Giles and Mary from Gogglebox?At Daylesford’s Summer Show, Giles reassured that on their acre in rural Wiltshire there is no lack of butterflies. (By the way, Mary sources her statement fancy tights from a market stall in London for £2.50 a pair.) Those who have discovered these two will understand; my apologies to those who have no idea who they are!

To return to Hanbury, Stewart, Toby, Kevin, Rob & Ryan and I are working with our various machines in the churchyard and Colin will re-join as soon as his broken leg has healed!Our Eco Church/God’s Acre team also has dates in the diary to follow up from the Coronation Bank Holiday session; they will be pleased to know tht I met a dusty looking toad by the compost heap last week. Please ask if you would like to join and the toad!

Our finest moment in June was Sunday the 4th when bells were rung in CELEBRATION OF CANON KEITH WITHINGTON’S 65TH ANNIVERSARY OF ORDINATION (10 June) following the 9 am service.Details are listed below! Also, we appreciated seeing the Himbleton Ringers featured on the cover of last month’s BBN.

The details below have been added to the ‘NATIONAL RINGING REGISTER’ (Bellboard) under Hanbury. Thank you for providing the opportunity for the bells to be rung. S

Hanbury, Worcestershire

St Mary the Virgin

Sunday, 4 June 2023 (12–1–15 in F♯)

72 Withington Delight Minor (Good Choice, Canon Keith is a delight!!!)

-H x3.

1Rosemary Clive, 2Alma Grazebrook, 3Jenny Walton, 4Jeffrey B Webb, 5Adam Crocker, 6Steve Townsend (C)

Rung twice, during ringing following the 9 am Holy Communion Service: in recognition of 65 years since the ordination of Canon Keith Withington (Celebrant).


Hanbury church bells can be considered to be among the finest rings of eight bells (and casting) in the country, not only for their weight but also key (F-sharp); the tower standing prominently within the landscape.

As many know, these bells have been heard numerous times on BBC Radio 4's 'The Archers', an everyday story of country folk with characters making up the 'local band': the ringers at 'St Stephen's Ambridge'.

In the real world of Hanbury (no doubt similarly, in 'Ambridge'), the passing of time is having its impact on our ringers, many of whom have rung bells for decades:

In order to maintain 'this tradition' and keep the bells ringing for services, to recognise village, national (and international) events of celebration and solemnity, local weddings etc., it is essential, in fact vital, people come forward and learn to ring, to join their/our/your local bell ringing 'team' - the bells won't, don't and are unable to ring by themselves!

If you would like to play a part in ensuring these bells continue to ring as outlined above, are willing to offer your help, or would like further information, a visit to the tower to explore further, see what ringing entails etc., please contact me at:

PLEASE CHECK SERVICES carefully on posters and websites as there will be adjustments during the forthcoming interregnum.There will always be excellent services not far away from home, so why not explore and enjoy the breadth of styles of our service leaders and the variety of our ancient buildings. A warm welcome awaits in all the churches!