Ding-dong over church bells is settled

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Bell ringers at a Hampshire village church have ended a two-and-a-half year strike after a compromise has been agreed over service times.

The bells fell silent at St Mary’s in Bramshott, near Liphook, in June 2013 when the church changed its service start time from 11.15am to 9.15am.

The bell ringers feared that the earlier start time, which would have meant the bells ringing from 8.45am, would have meant local residents would have been disturbed.

Now the church has announced that an agreement had been reached with a new start time of 9.30am and it would be holding a special service on January 3.

A message posted on the church’s website states: “From 3rd January 2016 the main service at St Mary’s will start at 9.30 am rather than 9.15.

“This change means that the bellringers will be able to ring before the service again. We will mark the occasion with a special communion service, at which the Reverend Jenny Gaffin (chaplain to the Bishop of Portsmouth) will be preaching.”

The church bells were a gift from the widow of Frankenstein actor Boris Karloff who lived in the village until his death in 1969 at the age of 81.

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