'Incredibly moving' moment as church bells ring for first time since Covid
- Credit: Mike Fear
The sound of the church bells chiming around Framlingham has returned after they were rung for the first time since the start of the coronavirus crisis.
Bellringers met at St Michael's Church, which has bells dating back to the 15th century, after a gap of more than a year on Tuesday evening.
The group has been asked to ring the bells for two wedding ceremonies being held at the church at the weekend - so they decided to have a practice run.
The sound was heard around the town, with many residents expressing their joy at its return on social media.
Framlingham-based photographer Mike Fear captured the moment the bells were rung as he climbed part of the chamber to get an aerial shot of the bellringers.
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He said: "We have all missed the bells. It was a really emotional moment.
"It was incredibly moving to hear after such a long time."
Church secretary Alison Robinson revealed the bells will continue to be rung frequently from now on as the easing of restrictions has allowed the group to meet.
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She said: "I've been doing this for 40 years or more and it's a huge part of my life.
"We've got two weddings on Saturday and we've been asked to ring the bells, so we thought we ought to have a little practice.
"We were not allowed together in the church tower for quite a while - the bell ropes are quite close together.
"It was quite strange ringing the bells, to be honest. We were quite pleased with how it went.
"We have heard people in Framlingham have been missing the bells and the noise. I think people in the town are excited.
"You can get some people who complain about church bells - but you don't get that here.
"This was the first time since the end of March 2020 that six bellringers gathered in the bell chamber.
"So long as Covid restrictions allow, the bells will be heard again on Sunday mornings and Tuesday evenings, as well as for weddings."