Fond farewell to Stedham church stalwarts

Bellringers John Maybray, Geoff West and Mary Gilbert
Bellringers John Maybray, Geoff West and Mary Gilbert

MEMBERS of the choir and bellringers at St James’s Church, Stedham said ‘thank you and goodbye’ to three of their stalwarts at a party in The Old Rectory by invitation of Captain and Mrs David Phillips.

Mary Gilbert, who has been choir mistress and bellringer at St. James’s for some years, is moving to the Bristol area to be nearer to her family.

She was presented with a book entitled “Betjamin’s Best British Churches” by church warden, Jenny Cretney in recognition of her many years of service.

The bell tower is also losing two more stalwarts with the retirement of long serving ringers John Maybray and Geoff West. John has long been a driving force in the ringing team and was also an important member of the choir.

Geoff was ringing captain and chief clock-winder.

Both are retiring after many years of service.

“All three will be sadly missed and their loss has highlighted the need for replacements, both in the choir and bell tower, “ said parochial church council member Janet Lintott. Newcomers would be welcomed and no previous experience is needed.