West Lindsey Branch Christmas Celebration - 20th December 2014
On Saturday 20th December West Lindsey ringers gathered at St. Helenís Church, Willingham for their Christmas celebration.
Ringing on the pleasant 6 started promptly at 3 oíclock and continued with little interruption, ranging from rounds and call changes up to Norfolk Surprise, until a touch of Cambridge led us into the Carol Service at 4.30.
The service was in the traditional format of Bible readings alternating with carols. The selection of some less well known carols alongside the old favourites appealed to the congregation, who sang lustily, accompanied by local ringer, Julian Precious, on the organ. Allowing our voices a rest, we were treated to an enjoyable medley of seasonal music by Holy Trinity (Messingham) Handbell Ringers.
After the service, Guild Master, Alan Payne, presented Roll of Honour certificates to Branch members John Nicholson and Rhys Prosser, both of Saxilby. John has completed an amazing seventy years of stalwart service as a ringer at Saxilby. Rhys was honoured for his contribution to the life of the Branch, in particular his eight years as Branch President, which were served with highly - valued wisdom and good humour.
Following their retirement from many years of ever-expanding ministry in Saxilby and surrounding parishes, Rhys and Steph will shortly be moving away from the area. To mark the respect and affection in which they are held, a West Lindsey Branch quarter peal of Lincolnshire Surprise Major was rung at Stow Minster on December 13th. Branch Ringing Master, Janet Clarke, presented a certificate of this performance to Rhys and Steph, together with a card signed by Branch ringers.
The formalities over, everyone enjoyed festive refreshments, including some delicious mulled wine - very welcome, as most of us were beginning to feel a little chilly by this time, in spite of the hot radiator.
Thanks are due to Sue Faull and the Willingham ringers for organising such a successful and friendly occasion.