Winston Girling rings full peal at St Peter and St Mary’s Church, Stowmarket – 60 years after his first

Winston Girling rings bells at Stowmarket Parish Church - 60 years after he rang his first peal.

Winston Girling rings bells at Stowmarket Parish Church - 60 years after he rang his first peal. - Credit: Gregg Brown

On August 11 1956, Stowmarket bellringer Winston Girling rung his first peal, aged just 15.

Winston Girling rings bells at Stowmarket Parish Church - 60 years after he rang his first peal.

Winston Girling rings bells at Stowmarket Parish Church - 60 years after he rang his first peal. - Credit: Gregg Brown

Having already rung the bells at the church in the nearby village of Barking for three years, he was invited to take part in a full peal 50 years ago at St Peter and St Mary’s Church.

Yesterday, he celebrated the 60th anniversary of his first full peal by taking part in another, at the same church he started at.

The peal, which is a series of changes rung on the bells, was completed by eight ringers in total, featured 5,000 changes and took around three and a half hours.

Recalling the first time he rang a full peal, he said: “I was petrified. But it all went off without incident.”

Winston Girling rings bells at Stowmarket Parish Church - 60 years after he rang his first peal.

Winston Girling rings bells at Stowmarket Parish Church - 60 years after he rang his first peal. - Credit: Gregg Brown


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The Rev Michael Eden hailed Mr Girling, who has helped out with peals across the country over the years, as an “expert” on bells and thanked him for his work during a short presentation before the peal got underway.

Mr Eden gave Mr Girling an engraved tankard as well as a pen, while all those who joined in with the celebrations were treated to a glass or two of Adnams beer, courtesy of Mr Eden.

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Mr Girling, tower captain at the church, said: “I’ve just enjoyed it very much. I love ringing and helping with ringing.

“The bells are there to call people to worship and that’s our prime objective.

“The bells, the tower, it’s all part of God’s house and it’s been great to be involved for all these years.”

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